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What Does the Government Shutdown Cost?

(WASHINGTON) -- $300 million.
 
That’s the single-day cost of a federal government shutdown, according the economic consulting firm IHS Global Insight.
 
The figure translates to about $12.5 million an hour, or roughly $1.6 billion a week, while the government is closed.
 
The IHS analysis, shared with ABC News, accounts only for the lost wages and productivity from the nearly 800,000 furloughed federal workers. The calculation assumes an average annual salary per employee of $110,000 – essentially classifying that lost income as lost U.S. economic output (GDP) in the interim.
 
This is just one rough estimate, and unofficial one at that. But it provides a ballpark look at the financial impact of the shutdown. The General Accounting Office is closed Tuesday and unable to provide its analysis.
 
How much did the last government shutdowns of 1995-1996 cost us?
 
The Office of Management and Budget said at the time that the 26-day combined closure had a $1.4 billion price tag – or roughly $2.1 billion in today’s dollars, according to the Pew Research Center.  
 
Needless to say, the bigger worry right now is the shutdown’s impact on the fragile economic recovery.  IHS estimates a week-long shutdown would cut the 4th quarter economic growth rate by 0.2 percentage point, bringing its forecast of 2.2 percent growth down to just 2.0 percent.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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