Here’s How Much The Government Shutdown Cost The Economy

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Protesters hold placards urging the U.S. Congress to end the federal government shutdown on Oct. 9, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

$24 billion.

That’s according to an estimate from Standard & Poor’s. The financial services company said the shutdown, which ended with a deal late Wednesday night after 16 days, took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy, and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the economic cost by our calculations:

  • About $3.1 billion in lost government services, according to the research firm IHS
  • $152 million per day in lost travel spending, according to the U.S. Travel Association
  • $76 million per day lost because of National Parks being shut down, according to the National Park Service
  • $217 million per day in lost federal and contractor wages in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area alone

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers bore the economic brunt of the shutdown. But small businesses also suffered from frozen government contracts and stalled business loans. Tourism suffered from closed national parks, and military families had to cope without childcare and other services. Federal workers will receive back-pay under the deal, but contractors will probably not get their lost wages. The stall in cash-flow could affect spending during the holiday shopping season.

And with the deal only guaranteeing government funding through Jan. 15, the situation could grow worse. “The short turnaround for politicians to negotiate some sort of lasting deal will likely weigh on consumer confidence, especially among government workers that were furloughed,” Standard & Poor’s said.

[CNN Money]