A wave of 100 degrees plus weather across much of the United States is not over. And the effects on the economy are likely to worsen each day.
Forecasts for Phoenix, Las Vegas and the areas around are for the mercury to reach near 110 degrees, which is as hot as in some of the world’s hottest cities, including in Dubai and Bagdad. Businesses that might thrive in cooler weather will either close or see a reduction in activity.
Among the sectors immediately hurt are agriculture and retail. Some crops cannot flourish in the beating sun. Neither can retailers, from restaurants to car dealers. When the mercury tops 115 degrees, some commercial planes cannot fly.
The most dangerous byproduct of very high temperatures is that they often come with wind and dryness. Massive wildfires in the west have been made worse by sweltering days without rain, accompanied by high winds.
Another byproduct of extremely hot weather is that people simply stay home. Maybe some shop online, but they are not walking through huge parking lots where the blacktop can make temperatures even worse.
At some point, economists will make an estimate of what excessively hot and dry weather has done to gross domestic product. It won’t be good news.