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Hurricane Harvey Affects Consumer Price Index

Hurricane Harvey’s economic effect on Houston is having a ripple effect on the U.S. economy

Rising Gas Prices

The Labor Department says consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in eight months in September. Gasoline prices surged 13.1 percent in the wake of hurricane-relate refinery disruptions, accounting for 75 percent of the rise in the Consumer Price Index. In addition, the economy lost 33,000 jobs as a result of the storms, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics records slower job gains. Patrick Jankowski is the chief economist with the Greater Houston Partnership.

“You know, if someone says U.S. GDP is gonna dip because of the hurricane that hit Houston, I’m actually kind of flattered, because that tells you just how important Houston is to the rest of the U.S. economy.”  

Flood-related store closings harmed sales tax collections. But there’s a 1.6 percent jump in retail sales, as reconstruction and clean-up efforts boost demand for building materials and replacement cars. 

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