The Economic Impacts of Government Shutdowns


Federal government shutdowns have a measurable impact on economic activity. Employee furloughs, agency closures and delayed payments lead to weaker demand for goods and services, particularly in hubs of government activity, such as military base communities and Washington, D.C.

This white paper uses proprietary Fiserv transaction data to understand the economic impact of government shutdowns on consumer spending and business sales across various regions and sectors of the U.S. economy. The analysis looks at two shutdown events over the past decade – the full shutdown in 2013 that affected all government agencies and the partial shutdown that occurred in 2018–2019 – to quantify the extent to which industries and regions are adversely impacted.


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