Three weeks ago, the media was cranking out theories about how the government shutdown would hamstring different facets of the U.S. economy. But according to London-based Capital Economics, the impact may have been more whimper than bang.
Four reports by the company illustrate the non-effects of the two-week shutdown that lasted from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16. Commodity markets, manufacturing, private-sector employment and retail sales all show signs of growing strength despite the shutdown.
The ISM manufacturing index rose to a two-and-a-half year high of 56.4 in October, which means manufacturers were not stymied by the shutdown in any way.
Although the labor market posted an increase of 130,000 jobs in October, compared with an “already soft” 145,000 the month before, there is little evidence that this slowdown in growth was precipitated by the shutdown.
Finally, September’s retail sales numbers show that consumption accelerated during the third quarter -- and there is no reason to believe this growth will slow during the fourth.