Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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Katrina has blown away the rosy economic forecasts. A Washington Post
story reports that economists predict that the hurricane will slow enconomic growth to a crawl by year's end.
Here are some of the indicators:
- Record gasoline prices will squeeze family pocketbooks.
- General Motors yesterday was already blaming Katrina in part for a 16 percent drop in sales in August.
- Without significant relief, falling consumer spending will filter down to smaller items as well. At least one retailer, Macy's owner Federated Department Stores Inc., said the hurricane led to lackluster sales last month.
- If the trend continues it "could mean a nasty Christmas" for retailers.