Trump’s government shutdown cost $6bn to American economy, S&P says

Shutdown lasting 35 days was longest in US history

Clark Mindock
New York
Saturday 26 January 2019 21:09
Trump says he will declare a national emergency if no deal is reached on border wall

Donald Trump’s government shutdown cost the US economy at least $6bn (£4.5bn) in just over a month, according to the S&P Global Ratings.

The loss was driven by a fall in productivity from furloughed government workers, and economic anxiety which spread from the shutdown into the business sector.

Mr Trump agreed to reopen the government on Friday, 35 days into a shutdown he had forced in order to demand $5.7bn (£4.3bn) to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.

The deal he struck with congressional Democrats included no funding for the wall, and is a temporary measure that expires in three weeks.

“Although this shutdown has ended, little agreement on Capitol Hill will likely weigh on business confidence and financial market sentiments,” the S&P said in a news release.

The shutdown impacted nine federal agencies, and roughly 800,000 federal workers were either furloughed or forced to work without pay.

That included federal aviation workers, which led to a meltdown on Friday resulting in delayed or grounded planes in Newark International Airport, LaGuardia International Airport, and Philadelphia International Airport.

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Mr Trump agreed to reopen the government on Friday amid tanking public support, with polls indicating the majority of Americans blamed him for the shutdown.

The deal also came after the Senate held two major votes on Thursday to reopen the government, with two competing deals — one supported by the president and he other put forward by democrats — both failing to attract enough votes for the funding bill to proceed.

Mr Trump and the White House have indicated they are considering alternative measures to build the wall if Congress fails to allocate funding for the president’s wall.

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