Reconstruction and related purchases and hiring related to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy may range from $140 billion to $240 billion and increase U.S. economic growth by 0.5 percent, according to Bloomberg News. The economic boost could eventually surpass the loss of business the superstorm caused.

An economist quoted by Bloomberg said construction costs to rebuild will be more than simple replacement structures, but will also involve fortifying existing structures. Estimates of insured damage range up to $25 billion, and totals about $50 billion including lost wages and sales.

Sandy might reduce economic growth by 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 because of the disruption of industrial production, retail sales and employment. Most of the reconstruction will get started in the first quarter of 2013, although the economic growth from housing construction would take place over several years, said an economist for the National Association of Home Builders.