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Winter chills economic growth, but only temporarily


Gloomy weather isn’t just a pain to deal with. It’s also putting a slight damper on the economic recovery, according to Bloomberg.

Fortunately, an overall strengthening economy will make the lull temporary, economists say.

Sales at chain stores fell 0.9 percent in the month ended Jan. 29, cutting the gain over the past year to 1.8 percent, according to Johnson Redbook Research. Another forecast by USB Securities LLC said snow and cold temperatures might have reduced January payrolls by 60,000 workers.

“For the rest of the quarter, we would expect it to unwind and return to normal,” said Kevin Cummins, a UBS economist, in an interview with Bloomberg.

UBS forecasts the economy will grow at a 4.2 percent annual pace from January through March.

The company estimates that temperatures last month were 4 degrees Fahrenheit below average, which has historically subtracted about 0.5 percentage points from retail sales.

However, growing consumer confidence, expanding manufacturing and growing demand from overseas indicates the economy will have little problem overcoming the effects of bad weather.

Bad weather will likely hurt restaurants the most and should actually help Internet merchants.

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