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Fed: Hurricane Sandy didn’t do much damage to the New England economy

Hurricane Sandy “reportedly had very modest effects on economic activity in New England” when it passed through the region in late October, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve.

That assessment came in the so-called Beige Book, a collection of anecdotal economic information prepared eight times a year by the Federal Reserve System and its regional branches. The latest report was released last week.

Sandy caused extensive damage in New York and New Jersey, and caused the fourth-largest power outage in New Hampshire’s history. But damage here was relatively mild: Gov. John Lynch has said the damage in New Hampshire exceeds $3.6 million, compared with total costs estimated at $36.9 billion in New Jersey.

Still, the hurricane could drive up insurance rates for commercial buildings up and down the East Coast, according to the Fed’s report for the region centered on Boston.

“While contacts report no immediate impacts of Hurricane Sandy on the commercial real estate markets in their respective cities, two contacts point out that insurance rates for commercial structures along the Eastern seaboard are likely to rise going forward, restraining development in some areas,” the report stated.

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