“Gen­er­ally, but not al­ways, El Nino events tend to be in­fla­tion­ary, in part be­cause low crop yields lead to higher prices”

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

mo­tion nat­u­ral catas­tro­phe that lasted for months.

The US as a whole did not have a win­ter as ex­treme as New Eng­land’s in the first part of 2015, and the ef­fects of the weather on the coun­try’s over­all econ­omy were sub­dued. True, New York City had some sig­nif­i­cant snow­falls; but no one would have paid much at­ten­tion had the mayor been more com­pe­tent in get­ting the streets plowed. East­ern Canada suf­fered much more, with se­vere win­ter weather play­ing a role (along with lower com­mod­ity prices) in the coun­try’s mini-re­ces­sion in the first half of the year.

This year’s win­ter is the po­lar op­po­site of last year’s. It was 68 de­grees Fahren­heit (20 de­grees Cel­sius) at Bos­ton’s Lo­gan Air­port the day be­fore Christ­mas, and the first speck of snow didn’t come un­til just be­fore New Year’s Day. Trees and plants, sens­ing spring, started to blossom; birds were just as con­fused.

Last win­ter, Bos­ton was some­thing of an anom­aly. This year, thanks in part to El Niño, weird weather is the new nor­mal. From Rus­sia to Switzer­land, tem­per­a­tures have been el­e­vated by 4-5C, and the weather pat­terns look set to re­main highly un­usual in 2016.

The ef­fect on de­vel­op­ing coun­tries is of par­tic­u­lar con­cern, be­cause many are al­ready reel­ing from the neg­a­tive im­pact of China’s slow­down on com­mod­ity prices, and be­cause drought con­di­tions could lead to se­vere crop

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