As Ida leaves Gulf, analysts foresee modest economic damage

WASHINGTON (AP) — With more than 1 million customers in Louisiana and Mississippi having lost power, Hurricane Ida is sure to take a toll on the energy, chemical and shipping industries that have major hubs along the Gulf Coast. But the impact on the overall U.S. economy will likely be modest so long as damage estimates don’t rise sharply and refinery shutdowns are not prolonged, economists say. The hurricane is expected to inflict a less severe financial impact than Hurricane Katrina did 16 years ago, thanks to a lower storm surge and New Orleans’ improved levee system, which is better able to withstand storm surges.