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The Sandy Effect

Wed Jan 23 2013
Jeff McHugh
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In case you missed it, at the beginning of December Stephen wrote an interesting post on what kind of an effect a hurricane can have on trade. He pointed to some interesting statistics from 2005, which show the impact Hurricane Katrina had on U.S. imports and exports. Looking back at Katrina, we anticipated that our data users would be interested in how much of an effect Hurricane Sandy would have on our October and November trade numbers, so we prepared for your questions.

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In order to help our data users gauge the impact Sandy had on U.S. trade, we compiled a report on U.S. trade through ports affected by Hurricane Sandy [PDF]. The report details U.S. trade to and from the eight districts affected by the hurricane (Baltimore, Boston, New York, Norfolk, Portland, Providence, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.). We released the report with our October and November statistics. If you would like to download the report, Text and Excel files are available on our website.

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Keep in mind that our port totals are not seasonally adjusted. So, if you are looking to compare Sandy totals with totals for all ports, look at the not seasonally adjusted totals in Exhibit 12 [PDF] of our International Trade in Goods and Services report. That way you are comparing apples to apples. As you can see in the graph above, goods exports from ports affected by Sandy went from $19.1 billion in October to $19.0 billion in November. That is an increase of $0.1 billion for exports from ports affected by Sandy, while total U.S. not seasonally adjusted exports decreased $3.8 billion. Goods imports to ports affected by Sandy went from $33.2 billion in October to $36.6 billion in November. That is an increase of $3.4 billion for imports to ports affected by Sandy, while total U.S. not seasonally adjusted imports decreased $4.4 billion.

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So what kind of impact do you think Sandy had on U.S. trade? Are there any other reports you would like to see on Hurricane Sandy?  

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For more export and import port data, visit USATradeOnline and sign up for a one-week (7-day) free trial.

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