De BeeFirst off, our thoughts are with all the people who are displaced, missing loved ones or otherwise impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
From a business angle, the hurricanes — while they certainly depress spirits of all who follow the news— will mostly impact people in that region of the country. (It’s also possible some will profit from the reconstruction.) A possibly more important economic factor is rising gas costs. Together they are seriously lowering expectations for the holiday season. Already, consumer confidence has taken its sharpest plunge in nearly 19 years. And while we predict people will still get engaged and give diamonds and diamond jewelry, they will likely trade down to smaller sizes and lower grades. The top of the market will not be much effected, as higher prices don’t make much of a dent in the millionaire’s pocket.