Many analysts say the region is poised to rebound quickly. Economists at the New York Federal Reserve Bank said Thursday that they expect the economy in the New York region to be back on track by early 2013. Recovery in hard-hit New York communities like Long Beach and the Rockaways will take longer, though.

In the first three months of 2013, the economy's growth could rebound to a rate of 2.5 percent, said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight. Gault predicts a 0.4 percentage point boost from the rebuilding and other factors related to Sandy.

"We think that growth will improve as we go through 2013, but that is contingent on us not messing things up by going over the fiscal cliff," Gault said.

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Associated Press writer Karen Matthews contributed to this report from New York.

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