By Lisa Maria Garza
Aug 31 (Reuters) - Economic growth will likely take a hit after the flooding and damage wreaked on the Houston area by Tropical Storm Harvey, but growth will eventually return to typical levels, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan predicted on Thursday.
Speaking at the North American Strategy for Competitiveness Organization — Dallas County Community College District, Kaplan said the bank has yet to conduct a detailed analysis of the economic impact of the storm, which has killed more than a dozen people, displaced tens of thousands, and damaged housing, stores, and roads.
The Dallas Fed oversees banks in and monitors the economy in the whole of Texas as well as parts of Oklahoma and Louisiana, and has a branch office in Houston.
“I’d rather focus on the rescue effort, because we are not done yet,” he said, adding that it was still too early to tell exactly what the impact will be.
But judging from other disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, he said, “you have an initial drop, then you have a period of rebuilding and recovery, and experience has shown us...that you eventually, after enough time, ideally, you typically get back to the level of GDP you were at, and resume your trend growth rate.”
Kaplan, who was speaking about the need for better-trained and educated workers to meet employers’ needs, noted that getting the labor for construction post-Harvey will be very important.
Writing by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama