D.C.

Government Shutdown 2013: Federal workers nervous about spending money

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - With the government shutdown over, it’s back to business on the National Mall. But some federal worker families tell ABC7 that they’re still a bit nervous about spending their money.

"Now it's like, 'whoa, whoa, whoa' -- we don't know where we'll be in six months, we don't know what's going to happen," says District resident Ellen B.

Part of that uncertainty is due to the fact that the deal that Congress has hammered out is only temporary. In other words, in just a few months from now, the nation could be back at square one.

A new survey from Goldman Sachs shows that as the shutdown dragged on, two out of five Americans cut back on their spending.

But will that trend continue?

Most shoppers we spoke with didn’t think so.

"Actually, I think it might have if it had continued ...But at this point in time, the stock market is coming back up," says Arlington resident Kathryn Morgan.

"Hopefully the President can reassure people the economy will not fail -- but I don't think people are going to stop spending," adds Nicole Greene.

Economists say it’s tough to predict what consumers will do, and the outcome may hinge more on what small businesses ultimately decide to do.

Keith Hall is a Senior Research Fellow with the Mercatus Center, an economic think tank at George Mason University. According to Hall:

"The real impact is from businesses, how do they think consumers are going to be acting over the next few months? If they're not sure consumers are going to rebound well, and they're not sure the economy is going to pick up, they are slow to rehire."

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