Trump White House quietly doubles cost estimate for shutdown as experts fear wipe out of 1st quarter profits
President Donald Trump listens during a phone conversation with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto on trade in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on August 27, 2018. (AFP / Mandel Ngan)

The Trump administration this week doubled its forecast for the cost of President Donald Trump's government shutdown.


CNBC reported that original cost estimates said that the shutdown would subtract 0.1 percentage point of growth from the economy every two weeks. An anonymous Trump administration official told the network that the estimate had been doubled to 0.1 percentage point every week.

CNBC noted:

The administration had initially counted just the impact from the 800,000 federal workers not receiving their paychecks. But they now believe the impact doubles, due to greater losses from private contractors also out of work and other government spending and functions that won’t occur.

If the shutdown lasts the rest of this month, it could subtract a sizable half a percentage point from gross domestic product, the official said.

The revision comes as some economists worry that the shutdown could wipe out first quarter growth entirely.

Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics wrote in a report that growth could turn negative.

“If the shutdown were to last through the whole quarter, we would look for an outright decline in first quarter GDP,” Shepherdson explained.