WASHINGTON - It took 16 days, but late Wednesday, a battle-weary Congress approved a measure to end the government shutdown and avert a threatened national default.
But the shutdown did more than just frustrate Americans. It cost the country a whopping $24 billion.
The shutdown halted national parks and monuments, and mostly closed down NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department.
The financial ratings agency Standard & Poor's said Wednesday the shutdown took $1.5 billion dollars a day out of the economy. The Fitch credit rating agency warned Tuesday that it was reviewing its AAA rating on U.S. government debt for a possible downgrade.
"The bottom line is the government shutdown has hurt the U.S. economy," Standard & Poor's said in a statement. "In September, we expected 3 percent annualized growth in the fourth quarter because we thought politicians would have learned from 2011 and taken steps to avoid things like a government shutdown and the possibility of a sovereign default. Since our forecast didn't hold, we now have to lower our fourth-quarter growth estimate to closer to 2 percent."
Here's a breakdown of the costs of the shutdown, courtesy ABC News :
- $3.1 billion in lost government services. Although furloughed workers will get their back pay, taxpayers won't see the products. (Source: I.H.S.)
- According to the U.S. Travel Association: There has been $152 million per day in all spending related to travel lost because of the shutdown. As many as 450,000 American workers supported by travel may be affected.
- According to the National Park Service: They welcome more than 700,000 people per day usually in October and visitors spend an estimated $32 million per day impact in communities near national parks and contribute $76 million each day to the national economy. Those revenues were lost.
- According to Destination D.C., the official tourism corporation of D.C.: There is a 9 percent decrease in hotel occupancy from the last week in September before the shutdown to the first week of October during the shutdown. This year, hotel occupancy was down 74.4 percent for the week Sept. 29 to Oct. 5 compared to the 2012 numbers. (Source: Smith Travel Research, Inc.) In 2012, an estimated $6.2 billion of visitor spending supported more than 75,300 jobs.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Vince Gray's office said the hit has been especially hard on the nation's capital.
Regional (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) impact: $217 million a day (17.6 percent of the region's economy) from lost/deferred federal and contractor wages.
Washington, D.C. economic activity impact: $44 million a week decrease
Washington, D.C. tax revenue impact: $6 million a week decrease
Hospitality sector observations: 7 percent decrease in restaurant traffic in the first week in October compared to 2012 and 13,000 fewer hotel bookings (8.3 percent decrease) and $2 million less room revenue in the first week in October compared to 2012.
But here's some good news.
ABC News reports there was a 3 percent increase in liquor sales during the first week of October 2013 compared to the first week of September of this year.