Extreme cold weather could be back this year for much of the United States, according to a recent report by AccuWeather.
Last winter’s polar vortex, a counter-clockwise flow of arctic air that originates in the North Pole, brought record-low temperatures to much of the Midwest and East Coast last January and wrought havoc on the economy. After several quarters of solid economic growth, the GDP shrank by 2.1 percent in the first quarter. Housing starts were down lower than expected, as were retail sales with people staying home to warm themselves.
In the spring, Business Forward surveyed its network of business leaders on how the severe weather was affecting their bottom lines. We found a majority of respondents experienced a loss or a cash disruption as a result of the weather. Businesses should expect further disruption this winter, although this year’s vortex is not predicted to be as intense.