Hurricane Matthew damage in US over $13 billion - Goldman Sachs

People in a small boat drift past flooded cars as a result of Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, North Carolina, Oct 11, 2016.
People in a small boat drift past flooded cars as a result of Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, North Carolina, Oct 11, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Hurricane Matthew caused US$10 billion (S$13.8 billion) in damage in the United States as it swept through southeastern states, Goldman Sachs estimated on Wednesday (Oct 12).

After a devastating hit on Haiti, Matthew crawled up the US coast from Florida to North Carolina on Oct 6-9, triggering widespread wind and flooding damage.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs said the preliminary property damage estimate is about US$10 billion, about half of that insured losses.

 

For US hurricanes historically, that is relatively small; it makes Matthew only the 22nd worst storm in terms of property damage, according to Goldman's analysis.

The impact on the US economy will likely be minimal, it said. Based on earlier storms, there could be an 0.1-0.2 percentage point fall in industrial production in October, it said.

But both industrial output and employment "are likely to rebound the following months, and we do not expect a noticeable effect on the quarterly GDP numbers."

"Whatever the direct losses to property, they will not be directly visible in most economic indicators, which focus on the flow of new production, sales, and employment, rather than the stock of existing wealth," it said.

Meanwhile, analytics company Corelogic said its estimates of insured losses from the storm ran between US$4 billion and US$6 billion, most of that from wind damage.