Damage from Irene appears to be less than feared, a bit of reassuring news for a fragile economy.
Insured damage from Irene will range between $2 billion and $3 billion, and the total losses will likely be about $7 billion, according to preliminary estimates by Kinetic Analysis Corp. a consulting firm. Both figures are less than had been expected and likely mean little damage to the nation's $14 trillion economy.
"Irene left several places with black eyes, but it doesn't seem to have delivered an economic knockout," said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody's Analytics.
The estimates from Kinetic Analysis, based in Silver Spring, Md., suggest that Irene will have caused far less insured damage than the $6 billion the industry paid out after Hurricane Isabel struck the East Coast in 2003.