At a minimum, the recent government shutdown cost the U.S. government an estimated $3 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
That figure represents the loss of economic activity from the 800,000 furloughed employees as well as a drop in government purchases of goods and services, never to be made up.
CBO officials say the $3 billion could be just the tip of the iceberg. With every day of the five-week shutdown the most protracted in U.S. history came postponed hiring and investment decisions by corporations and industries. Because of the shutdown, first-quarter earnings are expected to be down by $8 billion.