How Much Does A Government Shutdown Cost? It Could Cost U.S. Economy Billions

Mitch McConnell
Congress could not agree on its spending bill Friday leading to a government shutdown. The shutdown could end up costing the U.S. billions of dollars each week. Getty

Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate failed to reach an agreement on a stopgap budget bill Friday and it could cost the economy billions.

The last time the government shutdown in 2013 for 16 days the U.S. economy took a $24 billion hit, according to Standard & Poor's analysis. This year's government shutdown could cost the U.S. about $6 billion a week, according to Aljazeera.

The 2013 shutdown led the GDP to dip by .25 percent. Goldman Sachs analyst Alec Phillips told Fortune that each week the government is shut down it will decrease the real GDP and have a "modest effect" on the financial markets.

The last shut down caused 800,000 federal employees to be placed on furlough and many more employees were late on receiving their paychecks. Those furloughed federal employees then spent less and their shopping dropped by 7 percent.

During that time, the Office of Management and Budget estimated that the shutdown cost Americans $2 billion in lost productivity. The shutdown also impacted tourism by forcing National Parks to close, costing $500 million in lost revenue, according to Fortune.

The government shutdown this year could impede defense department contracts leading to an increase in weapons costs, according to Reuters.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told Reuters a shutdown will "signal that we're going to interrupt cash flow, that's devastating to industry. That does us no good whatsoever."

The Office of Management and Budget found that in 2013, the Department of Defense experienced a drop in spending by 40 percent and a decline in small business contracts by about one-third, according to Reuters.

Even before a shutdown, the costs already start rolling in as federal officials must spend their time planning for the shutdown, which takes away from their daily duties.

The Stars and Stripes found in 2011 that the amount of time the Air Force spent preparing for the near-shutdown that year led them to reduce flying training hours by 10 percent and cancel some training exercises.

But some federal employees and agencies will continue to work through the shutdown including air traffic controllers, the Postal Service, the TSA, FEMA and the Centers for Diseases Control.