How’s the US economy doing? Shutdown makes it harder to say

WASHINGTON — The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has begun to make it harder to assess the health of the economy by delaying or distorting key reports on growth, spending and hiring.

Government data on home construction and retail sales, for example, won’t be released next week because staffers who compile those reports have been furloughed. The retail sales report provides a snapshot of consumer spending, which fuels more than two-thirds of the economy. With Macy’s and Kohl’s having said Thursday that their holiday sales were weaker than expected, a broader gauge of retail spending would have provided important clarity.

USA Today

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Shelly Jo Jacobs

Author: Shelly Jo Jacobs