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Economists had already anticipated that higher interest rates and trade tensions would slow growth in household spending on goods and services after it hit $13 trillion last year. The question is how much and the shutdown made the answer more difficult. Steven Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard said the economy appeared to be slowing down, noting reports from Macy’s, Nordstrom and other retailers talking of a weak December, and he expected the shutdown to hurt first quarter growth. “Some of it will come back in the second quarter, but there will be some industries that will see lasting damage such as restaurant operators,” he told Reuters.

These would include chains like McDonald’s Corp, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Starbucks Corp, which analysts said will be unable to make up for lost sales to government workers during a shutdown, The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Brian Cantor, managing director of Alvarez & Marsal’s retail performance improvement group, said grocery chains, including Walmart Inc and Kroger, could feel the pinch of weaker discretionary spending, While food staples sales will hold up, typical add-on purchases personalized cufflinks for dad like batteries, chips, magazines or chocolates will suffer, hurting profit margins..

Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen expressed this concern last week at a retail trade show. “From a customer standpoint .. they feel incredibly good about the economy, but very nervous about where are things headed,” he said. Walmart declined comment. Small, independent retailers, which often serve low-income communities, may also suffer. While the administration has assured funding through February for government transfer payments for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides food assistance to 19 million low income households, the shutdown has impaired granting new licenses and renewals.

Peter Larkin, President and Chief Executive of the National Grocers Association, sent a letter to Congress on Jan, 10, saying the shutdown prevents many independent retailers from acquiring SNAP licenses for their newly opened stores, and that more than 2,500 retailers have experienced a lapse or inability to reauthorize their license, “The inability to acquire new SNAP licenses for newly-opened or purchased stores could personalized cufflinks for dad have significant negative impacts to local economies,” Larkin said..

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment tumbled in early January to its lowest level since President Donald Trump was elected more than two years ago as an ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government and financial market volatility stoked fears of a sharp deceleration in economic growth. The drop in confidence reported by the University of Michigan on Friday is the clearest sign yet that the impasse in Washington over Trump’s demands for $5.7 billion to help build a wall on the United States’ border with Mexico was negatively impacting the economy. Trump has touted high consumer confidence as an indication of the good job he is doing on the economy.

While consumer sentiment remains relatively high, the gathering dark clouds over personalized cufflinks for dad the economy could make households more cautious about spending, leading to slower growth, Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the U.S, economy, “This report on consumer sentiment is the first concrete evidence that the economy is going to fall and fall hard if Washington does not end the shutdown,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York, “It is going to be hard to see real GDP growth of more than 1 to 1-1/2 percent in the first quarter if the consumer goes on a buying strike.”..

The longest government shutdown in the history of the United States has left some 800,000 government workers without a paycheck. Private contractors working for many government agencies are also without wages. The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index fell 7.7 percent to a reading of 90.7 this month, the lowest reading since October 2016 and the steepest drop since September 2015. Economists had forecast a reading of a 97.0. The survey’s measure of current economic conditions decreased to 110.0 from a reading of 116.1 in December. Its measure of consumer expectations tumbled to a reading of 78.3, the lowest since October 2016, from 87.0 in late December.The University of Michigan attributed the decline in sentiment to “a host of issues including the partial government shutdown, the impact of tariffs, instabilities in financial markets, the global slowdown, and the lack of clarity about monetary policies.”.

It said that half of the survey’s respondents “believed that these events would have a negative impact on Trump’s ability to focus on economic growth.”, Economists estimate the partial shutdown of the government, which started on Dec, 22, is subtracting as much as two-tenths of a percentage point from quarterly GDP growth every week, Other surveys have also shown an ebb in business sentiment, “Sentiment among both households and businesses has been coming off the sugar highs, which were caused by tax cut hopes personalized cufflinks for dad at the beginning of the Trump presidency,” said Harm Bandholz, chief U.S, economist at UniCredit in New York..