Blame It On The Weather

By: Richard Berger

March 11, 2016

Talking about the weather never gets old, even in corporate boardrooms.

Take the Polar Vortex. For many companies last winter, it was the go-to excuse for poor performance. Makes sense if you are cancelling thousands of flights or selling motorcycles, but selling products online? Debatable.

Likewise, there have been plenty of predictions with respect to El Niño. It is supposed to be the long-awaited salvation in California, while wreaking drought and starvation in other parts of the globe. Equity analysts predicted El Niño would deliver global growth and increased commodity prices (among other things). Mid-season, it seems early season predictions proved true.

  • Severe weather damaged crops in Texas and New Mexico, and California got some much needed rain.
  • Ski resorts out West, particularly in California, started their seasons strong, with places like Tahoe and Mammoth seeing epic early snowfalls. Not so for New England.
  • El Niño has caused food and water shortages for upwards of 100 million people, according to the United Nations World Food Programme, and important crops like cocoa are seeing alarming declines with certain impact on commodity pricing.

As the latest corporate results trickle in, don’t be surprised if we see El Niño as a culprit. Already retailers are feeling the hit of record warm weather, but roofers have happily climbed the corporate ladder.

Regardless of where you live or the nature of your business, it’s too early to declare El Niño a bust or boom. One thing is for sure, it’s probably best to not gamble on the weather.