Boston manhunt: Little economic impact seen

The streets were eerily empty Friday as residents obeyed requests to stay home. The city's economy is strong enough to withstand the shutdown, however.

By Jonathan Berr Apr 19, 2013 5:41PM
Friend Street near North Station was empty at 9:30 a.m in Boston as the manhunt for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings continued (© Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)The economic impact of the unprecedented shutdown of the Boston area after this week's marathon bombings will probably be short-lived -- though the psychological effects may linger.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Boston region has an annual gross domestic product of about $325 billion, meaning that it could easily withstand the impact of a single-day disruption.

"A lot of activity that would've taken place today takes place tomorrow or Monday,”  said IHS Global Insight economist Jim Diffely in an interview with Bloomberg News.

There were some exceptions. Conventions that were underway before the governor issued a shutdown order at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center were allowed to continue. The Boston Comic Con, however, has been postponed. That event was scheduled to run Saturday and Sunday.

Some Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN) locations were kept open at the request of police in the locked-down area to serve first responders. The company, which is based in Canton, Mass., is providing food for free, according to The Boston Globe.

Businesses in the Boston area allowed employees to work from home. Some, such as Fidelity Investments and Eaton Vance, which are based in Boston, opened for business with a skeleton staff, according to the Boston Business Journal. Employees at Fidelity who made it into the office were told that they couldn't go home until the coast was clear. Bank of America (BAC) told its 7,000 workers in Massachusetts to stay home, the publication says.

Boston Beer Co.
(SAM), maker of Samuel Adams. agreed to shut its Boston Brewery Tour Center "for as long as necessary," according to a statement the company provided to MSN Money. The company added: "As in any emergency, we expect our employees to put our drinkers' and their own safety first." 

CVS (CVS) shuttered more than 40 stores in Boston and the surrounding area, according to a statement sent to MSN Money. The Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins canceled games scheduled for Friday night. Ticket sales for the Big Apple Circus' limited engagement near Boston City Hall slowed to a trickle, according to Bloomberg.

--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed companies. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

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Apr 20, 2013 10:08AM
People are killed and maimed and you do a story about how it won't really affect the economy ?
Apr 22, 2013 4:59PM

The bombing was a tragedy and I wish all of the victims well.


Another scary part of this attack that most people seem to overlook was the way local and federal governments stepped in to do the manhunt.  Within hours, the streets were lined with armed vehicles and thousands of military and police. 


These officers went door to door, up to 3 or 4 times at the same residences and searched peoples houses.  One lady on the news said they came to her house 3 times, once with search dogs and demanded to search her residence.  The third time was at 3am.


The way the local and federal governments basically had marshall law established within a few hours is shocking and disturbing.  I can't even imagine the carnage that will take place if we ever have big riots or protests in this day and age.  Americans will get slaughtered, even with all the guns we have.

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