By Sam Stein
WASHINGTON — The federal government shutdown that lasted for 16 days last month is expected to cost the U.S. economy between $2 billion and $6 billion in economic output, according to a report by the Office of Management and Budgetreleased Thursday afternoon.
Those figures, culled from independent forecasters, may be a conservative estimate, the authors note. They found that approximately 120,000 fewer private sector jobs were created during the first two weeks of October because of the dual threats of the shutdown and the standoff over the debt ceiling. Forecasters additionally expect fourth quarter real GDP growth to be 0.2 to 0.6 percent lower than what it could have been had the shutdown and debt ceiling fight not taken place.
The U.S. economy picked up speed at the end of 2011, as consumers increased their spending.
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation’s economic health, grew at a 2.8% annual rate in the last three months of the year, the Commerce Department said Friday. That’s up from a 1.8% growth rate in the prior quarter and the strongest reading since the second quarter of 2010.
Still, economists had expected higher growth in the fourth quarter.
Growth of at least 3% is considered enough to prompt hiring by employers. During the quarter, the unemployment rate fell to 8.5% in December from 9% in September. [Quote:CNN]
- Economy expanded 2.8 percent during the last months of 2011 (oregonlive.com)
- Economy grew modest 2.8 pct. in Q4, best in 2011 (boston.com)
- Economy grew modest 2.8 pct. in Q4, best in 2011 (seattlepi.com)
- GDP Rose 2.8 Percent in Fourth Quarter (abcnews.go.com)
- US economy picked up pace in final quarter of 2011 with 2.8% growth (guardian.co.uk)
- Economy gains as businesses spend more, fire less (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Economy gains as businesses spend more, fire less (sfgate.com)