Weather Vs. The Economy? : Planet Money How bad is bad weather for the holiday shopping season?
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Weather Vs. The Economy?

An accidental rodeo.

The video above is from 2007, but you get the idea. Snow, especially in a city like Portland, Ore., can send the whole world sliding. It's maybe not so great for the economy, either.

Mitch writes:

Here in Portland, Oregon, all the shops downtown are closed. Every authority is saying not to drive unless absolutely necessary, and people are obeying. And things in the Northwest aren't nearly as bad as in the Midwest and Northeast. I don't know about other places, but last weekend was pretty bad here, too. Given that we only had four weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, how bad is it to have any of those weekends ruined by weather like this?

After the jump, an anecdotal answer from another listener in Portland, plus a links kit courtesy of Oregonian reporter Amy Hsuan.

First, the anecdotal. Ryan writes:

I have several friends who are small business owners in retail and services industries who were already feeling the economic crunch, and are now absolutely customerless in what is normally their biggest two weeks of the year. It will be interesting to how many layoffs and closures take place as a result of this citywide shutdown. Is it just me or does the weather get really nasty during times of economic strife? (Dust bowl drought etc..)

And now for the links from Amy Hsuan, who covers business. She says it seems as if many Portlanders have turned to shopping online, which suggests they're spending holiday money from home and might not go storming into stores if the weather finally breaks.

Sell tire chains? Great. Jewelry? Uh-uh/ Retailers keep going through snow and ice Weather outside is frightful — especially for retailers