Spooking American Consumers – Republican Government Shutdown and GOP Crises Bad for Economy

The Republican Government Shutdown may be over but the 16-day, Tea Party-fueled debacle and GOP history of lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis is having a lasting impact on American consumers and the business community.

USA Today – Survey: Shutdown Shrinks Economists’ Optimism

The budget standoff in Congress is over for now, but the U.S. economy is likely to feel the hangover for some time.

Two weeks after Washington’s latest showdown, more than half of economists surveyed by USA TODAY — 56% — are less optimistic about growth prospects than they were three months ago. The survey of 41 top economists was conducted Oct. 23-24.

What’s more, repeated budget battles in Washington the past few years are having a cumulative effect. Sixty-three percent of the economists say the recurring standoffs are hurting the economy “some” or “a lot.” The remainder cite “a little” damage.

“We’re falling down a fiscal flight of stairs and we’re bouncing from one step to the next, one crisis to the next,” says Sean Snaith, an economist at the University of Central Florida.

New York Post –Gov. shutdown replaced holiday cheer with fear

It’s the shutdown that stole Christmas.

More than a week after the debt-ceiling standoff ended, fresh evidence is piling up that the 16-day government shutdown left an indelible mark on American consumers, replacing holiday cheer with economic fear.

Americans are scared of losing their jobs and worried about the overall state of the economy, according to several new surveys.

CBS MoneyWatch – Government shutdown slams consumer confidence

Consumers are increasingly fearful that conflict in Washington could damage the U.S. economy, with some forecasters warning that declining confidence could hurt spending during the key holiday shopping season.

Consumer sentiment has fallen to its lowest level since the fiscal cliff crisis in late 2012, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index, with respondents to the survey citing their concerns that this month’s government budget shutdown could slow economic growth…

Richard Curtin, chief economist for the monthly survey, said in a statement that concerns about the job market are increasing. Following the 16-day government shutdown, 61 percent of those polled expect economic conditions to worsen, up from 50 percent in September. Only a quarter of households surveyed think their finances will improve next year, while half expect no income increase.

AP – As US economy accelerates, hiring lags

Just a few months ago, many economists predicted that hiring would pick up by year’s end as the effects of tax increases and government spending cuts that kicked in this year faded.

No longer…

“We had assumed that the headwinds would dissipate, but in fact they didn’t,” says Doug Handler, an economist at IHS Global Insight.

What’s more, the 16-day partial shutdown of the government, which began Oct. 1, will likely further depress hiring for October…

In the meantime, uncertainty about another budget impasse — and potentially another government shutdown — may cause some businesses to hold off on hiring or expanding…

Consider Patrick Shrader, vice president of Arundel Manufacturing, based near Portland, Maine. Shrader said the uncertainty and brinkmanship in Washington have led his company to postpone hiring.

“As soon as we think the dust is settled, and we’re ready to move forward, there’s something else,” he said.

AP – Economist: Utah lost $30M in government shutdown

Utah lost about $30 million in tourism revenue during the partial shutdown of the federal government this month, according to the governor’s office.

KTVN Channel 2 (Nevada) – Government Shutdown Cost Economy Billions of Dollars

The shutdown is over for now, but that doesn’t mean its negative impact isn’t far reaching…

“I think this has shaken U.S. respect around the world and confidence in the economic side of it,” said University of Nevada Political Science Professor Eric Herzik…

Fred Lokken, political science professor at Truckee Meadows Community College said the continual bickering in Washington is holding us all back from full recovery.

“All the polls now indicate a dramatic pulling back that clearly coincides with this shutdown. It has shaken the confidence and we didn’t have a lot to begin with in government. We are a cynical nation now in modern times, but it has shaken that and they are pulling back. This could impact the Christmas season and 2014 could be bleaker.”

MPBN – Economic Forecasters: Shutdown Uncertainty Threatens Maine’s Economy

Members of the state Consensus Economic Forecasting Committee are saying that uncertainty caused by the partial federal government shutdown, and the threat of another shutdown in a few months, are some of the reasons they are pessimistic about the growth of Maine’s economy…

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