U.S. Shutdown Cost $1.6 Billion Last Week

Each day of closures causes $160 million in lost economic output, IHS estimates.

The partial U.S. government shutdown has closed the gates to Alex Thevenin’s place of business: the Grand Canyon.

Her family-owned Arizona Raft Adventures in Flagstaff, Arizona, lost $80,000 last week in income from a group excursion down the Colorado River that didn’t happen. Thevenin’s and five other small, whitewater businesses will lose almost $1 million because of canceled trips in the final few weeks of the 2013 rafting season, said John Dillon, executive director of the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association in Flagstaff.

Shared Losses

“The behavior of contractors is going to quickly be felt in the spending chain and spread out through the economy broadly,” said Joseph Minarik, research director at the Committee for Economic Development in Washington and a former chief economist of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. “Also, you will see heavily concentrated local effects. Coffee shops, dry cleaners -- dialing back near government centers.”

Nuclear Reservation

The Department of Energy directed contractor Savannah River Remediation to furlough 1,440 of its 1,804 employees for the duration of the shutdown, said James Giusti, a spokesman for DOE’s Savannah River Site, a nuclear reservation that covers 310 square miles. He said employees who maintain the liquid waste facilities in a non-operating mode remain at work.

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