The Costs of the Government Shutdown

Oct 17, 2013 12:23am

The 16-day government shutdown is over, but the country has taken at least a $24 billion hit along the way.

The financial ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said Wednesday the shutdown “to  date has taken $24 billion out of the economy,” equaling $1.5 billion dollars a day and “shaved at least 0.6 percent off annualized fourth-quarter 2013 GDP growth.”

These estimates are for the overall economy, taking into account not just federal wages and productivity, but all the ripple effects and costs as well.

Federal Employees Return to Work as Obama Signs Bill to End Shutdown, Avert Default

“The bottom line is the government shutdown has hurt the U.S. economy,” Standard & Poor’s said in a statement. “In September, we expected 3 percent annualized growth in the fourth quarter because we thought politicians would have learned from 2011 and taken steps to avoid things like a government shutdown and the possibility of a sovereign default. Since our forecast didn’t hold, we now have to lower our fourth-quarter growth estimate to closer to 2 percent.”

Moody’s Analytics reported a similar number Wednesday, saying by the end of the day the shutdown will  cause a $23 billion hit to U.S. GDP or $1.4375 billion per day.

Anatomy of a Debt Deal: What Happens Next

And that’s not all. Here’s ABC’s look at the costs of the shutdown:

- $3.1 billion in lost government services. Although furloughed workers will get their back pay,  taxpayers won’t see the products.  (Source: I.H.S.)

-  According to the U.S. Travel Association:  There has been $152 million per day in all spending related to travel lost because of the shutdown. As many as 450,000 American workers supported by travel may be affected.

-   According to the National Park Service: They welcome more than 700,000 people per day usually in October and visitors spend an estimated $32 million per day impact in communities near national parks and contribute $76 million each day to the national economy.  Those revenues were lost.

-  According to Destination D.C., the official tourism corporation of D.C.: There is a 9 percent decrease in hotel occupancy from the last week in September before the shutdown to the first week of October during the shutdown. This year, hotel occupancy was down 74.4 percent for the week Sept. 29 to Oct. 5 compared to the 2012 numbers. (Source: Smith Travel Research, Inc.) In 2012, an estimated $6.2 billion of visitor spending supported more than 75,300 jobs.

The hit to Washington, D.C. has been especially hard, according to Mayor Vince Gray’s office:

  • Regional (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) impact: $217 million a day (17.6 percent of the region’s economy) from lost/deferred federal and contractor wages.
  • Washington, D.C. economic activity impact: $44 million a week decrease
  • Washington, D.C. tax revenue impact: $6 million a week decrease
  • Hospitality sector observations: 7 percent decrease in restaurant traffic in the first week in October compared to 2012 and 13,000 fewer hotel bookings (8.3 percent decrease) and $2 million less room revenue in the first week in October compared to 2012.

And we will end with one bit of good news:

There was a 3 percent increase in restaurant beverage (primarily liquor) sales during the first week of October 2013 compared to the first week of September of this year.

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer, Sandy Cannold, Rachel Aragon, and Alex Lazar contributed to this report. 

SHOWS:
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus