U.S. industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, will likely take a negative hit from Hurricane Katrina in September as did in August, believe the economists at Merrill Lynch & Co., New York. The main reason: disruptions to energy production.
But as strange as it may seem, the damaging August storm may actually boost third-quarter GDP growth. Rebuilding efforts are a major factor. Merrill believes they'll add about $40 billion to inflation-adjusted GDP growth. Higher net exports are likely to figure in as well.
See IndustryWeek's Hurricane Katrina News & Resources section for more on coverage and how companies are responding.