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Stop worrying about the cost of winter storms

February 19, 2015, 11:30 AM UTC
A woman holds onto her hat against the wind during a snow storm in Boston
A woman holds onto her hat against the wind during a snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts February 2, 2015. Boston, already buried under two feet (60 cm) of snow from a blizzard last week, was predicted to see a foot of snow after a huge winter storm hit the northeastern United States on Monday, the region's second snowy blast in less than a week. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR4NY5Y
Photograph by Dominick Reuter — Reuters

Sure, this year’s record snowfall didn’t do New England restaurants any favors, but unless bad weather lasts long enough to affect supply chains and inventory decisions, it won’t take a huge toll on most cities’ economies, says IHS economist Doug Handler—breathless media reports notwithstanding. For many, the shopping (and work) just gets delayed.

This story is from the March 1, 2015 issue of Fortune.