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Shutdown cost America $24 billion, Standard and Poor's says

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Whether it's an individual in the process of getting back to work, or a country trying to get back on track, there will be an economic impact because of the government shutdown.

The disagreement is in how much.

Standard & Poor's ratings service estimates the shutdown will cost us collectively $24 billion. The figure is based on the estimation of future GDP growth declining by 0.6 percent. Other economists have trimmed that number in half.

There is disagreement.

American University Professor and economic expert Mark Waldman believes that number is grossly inflated. And when it comes to the big picture, even though government employees weren't working.

“There's been an impact in the Washington area because people haven't been paid, and they've closed down scenic overlooks which has irritated people to no end,” he says. “But the macro impact on the economy is almost nil.”

While total losses in the District aren't known yet,  there are some losses that are being tallied. The Smithsonian lost about $2.8 million in revenue from visitors since Oct. 1, said spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas.

It’s a tough sell on furloughed workers, particularly contractors who may not receive back pay, along with workers who may get their money back but who, economists say, will likely be more cautious in spending it now – especially with another government debt showdown looming just a few months down the road.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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