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Posted: Thursday, 17 October 2013 3:36PM

The Costs of the Government Shutdown



Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- 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 on Wednesday that 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.

“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 on 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.

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

  • There was more than $3 billion in lost government services.  Although furloughed workers will get their back pay,  taxpayers won’t see the products.  (Source: I.H.S.)
  • The U.S. Travel Association estimates 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 Washington, 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 of Sept. 29 to Oct. 5 compared to 2012. (Source: Smith Travel Research, Inc.)

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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