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Bill McCreary

Rebuilding will provide boon

The hit to Florida's $500 billion economy from Hurricane Charley will soar into the tens of billions of dollars but the negative effects will be offset by nearly as much in spending on reconstruction, economists said Tuesday. "For Hurricane Charley, I don't foresee any major impact on the overall economy of Florida," said Randall G. Holcombe, a Florida State University economics professor. While individual losses are catastrophic and the effects are felt unevenly from business to business and region to region, increased construction spending actually could add to the gross state product, the broadest measure of the economy, in the coming year, Holcombe said. In Central...