Ratings agency Moody’s says it believes the total costs of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could hit 200 billion dollars, and lost economic output could add another 30 billion to the bill.
This puts the two storms on a par with Hurricane Katrina, previously the most costly natural disaster to hit the USA in decades.
Analysts say key factors that could effect the final cost will be how quickly the key refining and tourism sectors recover, and how quickly insurance and federal aid money is released to rebuild. The rebuilding effort can be expected to boost US figures in the fourth quarter.
That rebuilding could be problematic, as the construction industry is already straining with a tight labour market.