More Americans pessimistic about economy after shutdown, poll shows

<i>This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.</i>

WASHINGTON -- Americans are more pessimistic about the state of the economy after the partial government shutdown and debt limit fight, according to poll results released Tuesday.

Just 29% of respondents in a CNN/ORC International survey said economic conditions are good, down four percentage points from late September. The figure is the lowest since December, when the nation was staring at the “fiscal cliff” combination of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts.

The poll also showed that just 40% of respondents thought the economy would be in good shape a year from now, down from 50% in June. The new figure was the lowest since October 2011.


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The telephone survey of 841 adults was taken Friday through Sunday, just after Congress and the White House agreed to a deal to fund the government until Jan. 15 and extend the debt limit until Feb. 7.

Economists said the 16-day government shutdown, which caused the furlough of about 400,000 federal workers, probably slowed economic growth in the fourth quarter of the year.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the hit was about $20 billion in lost economic output, or 0.05 percentage points in the nation’s gross domestic product.

“Lawmakers’ agreement to extend funding for the government and suspend the debt limit into early next year forestalled worse economic damage, but as long as lawmakers stay deadlocked over the direction of the federal budget, the economic recovery will not gain momentum,” Zandi said in a research report.

[For the record, 2 p.m. Oct. 22: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the goverment was funded until Jan. 7 and the debt limit was extended until Feb. 15. Actually, the goverment is funded until Jan. 15 and the debt limit is extended until Feb. 7.]


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