• Despite the devastation for Houston and surrounding areas, there could be ultimately be a very slight pickup in GDP due to rebuilding from the storm.
  • Hurricane Harvey could put some spark back in inflation if gas prices keep rising and the rebuilding results in a national shortage of construction workers or puts pressure on building materials prices.
  • Competition for construction workers could raise wages, and prices for autos and lumber are expected to rise.
Water fills the streets of Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

Devastating Hurricane Harvey, unprecedented in its rainfall, could be a slight negative for U.S. growth in the third quarter, but economists say it may ultimately provide a tiny boost to the national economy because of the rebuilding in the Houston area.

Goldman Sachs economists estimate a very preliminary impact of the storm to be $30 billion in property damages, making it the ninth largest since World War II in terms of domestic property damage. Goldman economists say, in a note, the storm could take 0.2 points off of growth in third quarter because of the impact to the energy sector.