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Experts: Storm Could Cut US Economic Growth Rate

A long line forms at the ferry terminal in Jersey City, N.J., as people commute toward New York City, November 5, 2012. Flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy halted mass transportation in the northern New Jersey region, with train service to New York comple
Experts tracking the economic impact of Hurricane Sandy say storm damage could cut U.S. economic growth three-tenths of one percent in the last few months of this year.

Gregory Daco, of IHS Global Insight said rebuilding activity probably will keep the slowdown from being even worse. He spoke Tuesday at an online conference of the National Association for Business Economics.

Chief Economist of the Associated General Contractors of America said there will be a "modest and gradual" improvement in construction hiring. Ken Simonson said rebuilding will take a while because it takes time to clear away debris, get insurance payments and government aid, apply for numerous permits, and design new buildings.

Meantime, a top economic official from hard-hit New Jersey said electric power is being restored, most roads and ports are open and the casinos are doing business. But Charlie Steindel of the state's treasury department also said problems remain with passenger rail service and supplies of gasoline.