Fed chair: Hurricanes had ‘noticeable’ short-term impact on economy
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The Chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen said on Sunday that the recent hurricanes that ravaged parts of the Caribbean and southeastern U.S. have had a "noticeable" impact on the economy, however it is not expected last long term.

"While the effects of the hurricanes on the U.S. economy are quite noticeable in the short term, history suggests that the longer-term effects will be modest and that aggregate economic activity will recover quickly," Yellen said at the Group of 30 International Banking Seminar in Washington, D.C., referring to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. 

The chair went on to say that the storms had noticeable impacts on growth and unemployment, although she was largely optimistic about the economy.


"In September, payrolls were reported to have declined 33,000, but that weakness reflected the effects of Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida during the reference week for the September labor market surveys," she said, adding that she expects employment to rise as communities recover and people get back to their jobs. 

"The hurricanes will likely result in some hit to GDP growth in the third quarter but a rebound thereafter, and smoothing through those movements, I'm expecting growth that continues to exceed potential in the second half of the year," she continued. 

Yellen characterized economic growth in the U.S. as moderate, noting an average 170,000 jobs gained per month, which is slightly down from gains made in 2016. 

The chair said wage indicators have been mixed, and that she expects the labor market to strengthen. 

Her comments come nearly three months after Hurricane Harvey brought catastrophic flooding to southeastern Texas and parts of Louisiana, while Hurricane Irma engulfed Florida in September, bringing heavy winds and major storm surges to the state's coastal regions. 

Recovery is still underway in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were hit by Hurricane Irma last month, leaving the majority of Puerto Rico and parts of the Virgin Islands without power. 

The federal government has faced scrutiny for its response to the disaster. 

Basic necessities such as food, water and medicine have been slow to reach those in need on the island.