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Winter weather is good for some businesses, bad for others

Sunday - 2/16/2014, 10:35am  ET

WASHINGTON - The winter snow and cold are having an affect on the economy, experts say.

While plumbers, heating contractors and snow-removal companies are getting a nice bump this winter, other industries are suffering.

University of Maryland economist Peter Morici estimates the losses at "up to $40 billion initially, although we'll get some of that back when the weather warms and people repair and spend the money they didn't spend while they were shut in."

That includes auto purchases people have delayed due to the cold and snowy weather across much of the United States.

"A big increase in building and garden supplies may have resulted from Americans buying shovels, salt and snow blowers," according to CNBC.

Retail stores have also been affected by the weather. "Retail stores that close and move less merchandise - some of it gets made up later but it's often at a cut- rate sale price," Morici says.

Other industries that are hurting include airlines, which have canceled a record number of flights this winter, hotels and restaurants - primarily companies that sell reserved space that cannot necessarily be made-up by later sales.

See the latest forecast on the WTOP weather page.

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