Can the Economy Survive Winter? [AUDIO]
The snowy and very cold winter has put somewhat of a freeze on economic activity, but the effects shouldn't hurt most businesses in the long run. Once New Jersey and the rest of the nation begin to thaw, it's expected many affected businesses will see some of their losses recovered.
James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, said folks looking to buy a home or car can have their plans delayed by weather, but those purchases will eventually be made. The same can be said for purchases at the mall or supermarket, meaning retailers' negative numbers of the winter can be erased in the spring.
"They're still going to have the same number of sales," Hughes said. "It's just that they were distorted, and the sales were pushed into the future."
Hughes said any negative weather impacts shouldn't affect a company's hiring plans in the coming months.
Americans in January spent less on automobiles, clothing and at restaurants, according to the National Retail Federation. The group's chief economist said the nasty weather is making it increasingly difficult to assess whether the slowdown is temporary or a telling sign of a longer-lasting weakness in this consumer-fueled economy.