Economic Impact of WTC Attack Climbs
Wed Sep 4, 5:58 PM ET
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - The economic impact of the World Trade Center attack could reach $95 billion and cost 83,000 jobs in New York, according to a report by the city's financial manager.

Replacing the buildings, infrastructure and tenants' financial losses account for $21.8 billion of that sum, Comptroller William Thompson said in his fiscal analysis released Wednesday.

"While this devastating event can never be reduced to numbers, it is clear that New York City and the nation will continue to suffer its economic ramifications for years to come," Thompson wrote in the 58-page report that provides the fullest picture to date on the economic shock felt in the city.

For instance, the analysis found that half of the city's projected $6 billion budget deficit is directly attributable to the terrorist attack, including almost $3 billion in lost tax revenue. The city has also paid some $500 million in expenses that have not been reimbursed, including police and fire overtime and security costs.

New York also eventually must pay some $36 million in debt service costs on the $1.5 billion bonds issued to balance its budget in the immediate weeks after the Sept. 11 attack.

The report also found a particularly harsh loss in lower Manhattan in terms of its stock of commercial buildings, which represents the nation's third largest block of commercial office space after midtown Manhattan and Chicago's business district.

Some 13 million square feet of prime office space downtown was destroyed - a total equal to the entire office space inventory of Atlanta or Miami. An additional 30 million square feet of office space was damaged.

While $21.4 billion in federal aide has been set aside, the report said, only $2.7 billion has been released so far.

A second report released Wednesday showed domestic visitors to New York City spent nearly $1 billion less in 2001 than in the previous year.

While tourists still visit the city, their stays are shorter and they spend less money, said Cristyne Lategano, president of NYC & Company, the city's tourism bureau.

The bureau's report found 29.5 million domestic visitors came to New York in 2001, an increase from 29.42 million in 2000. Statistics for international visitors have not yet been released.


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