EconSouth (Fourth Quarter 2005)
|Jack Guynn is the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta||Witnessing the Resilience of a City and an Economy|
In early October, I went to New Orleans to get a firsthand look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The devastation was widespread, and once-vibrant neighborhoods were practically deserted. But activity is returning slowly to New Orleans, and residents along the Gulf Coast are determined to rebuild. During my visit, I saw many help-wanted signs in and around the city. I am especially proud of our Atlanta Fed staff who managed to secure the New Orleans Branch in September, perhaps the cruelest month in New Orleans long history. Today, the branch is again open and serving the Gulf Coast area.
In addition to seeing our efforts to restore operations at our New Orleans Branch, I wanted to gauge in my visit the economic impact of Hurricane Katrina. This powerful storm destroyed major roads, railways, ports, petrochemical factories, energy production and distribution facilities, and other vital infrastructure. Clearly, the task of rebuilding will take years.
From chaos, a pattern emerges
In addition to being a year of record hurricane damage, 2005 will be remembered for sharply rising and volatile energy costs as Katrina and Rita struck at the heart of the nations oil and natural gas production and distribution network along the Gulf Coast.
Policy moves anchored inflation expectations
The end of an eraand a new beginning
The world is an unpredictable place, and some economic shocks cannot be foreseen. But the U.S. economy is in good shape, and I believe we will continue to adjust in ways that make low and stable inflation and continuing job and output growth the most likely outcomes.
This issue of EconSouth provides further insights into how we believe the national, international, and regional economies will perform in the coming year.