According to Jim Dale the senior risk meteorologist at the British Weather Services it it too easy to blame the weather for adverse economic data. Where there is a "weather loser" there is a "weather winner on the opposite side of the fence" he said.
The Telegraph has done a bit of digging. They have come up with a list of 51 companies that had a hard time of it during the bad weather as opposed to only three that benefited, which at first glance seems to put the kibosh on that particular little theory. And the readers comments at the bottom of the article suggest that the weatherman should stick to monitoring the seaweed and barometer.
The losers may have been big business, but maybe the winners here aren't the people you (or the weatherman) would normally consider.
The Telegraph based its analysis on stock exchange announcements, that is the huge retail, construction and transport companies. These all showed losses. The three that had a good time were Jersey Electricity (the island's sole distributor), Probability (mobile device gaming company) and Carr's Milling Industries (food, engineering and agriculture).
But what won't come out in this and probably never will is how small local shops, pubs and outlets fared. While people probably did not travel herd-like the many miles to the normal large retail gathering places, maybe they spent a little more in the local shops.
Also, why haven't other utility companies done as well as Jersey's? It was very cold and many people would have had to switch the heating up to compensate. I also wonder how many plumbers, heating engineers and electricians were called out to get the boilers going again or fix the burst pipes? There will be other examples.
I don't know, but I suspect that less money was spent overall, especially in the areas we normally associate with the festive season. But I would also suspect that more money was spent on unexpected purchases and services as outlined above.
One thing we may have learnt though is that maybe we don't need to spend so much money at Christmas to have a good time. A few of my friends have said that they were grateful that they could blame the weather for not having to try so hard and spend so much time and money on providing that 'perfect Christmas', most of which ends up in landfill within weeks anyway. And they claimed to have had just as good a time as ever too!
Maybe that's the point, the winners may turn out to be the consumers who are normally virtually brainwashed into spending all their money on things they don't really need at this time of year.