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The Government Shutdown Is Making D.C. Residents Drink More The Government Shutdown Is Making D.C. Residents Drink More

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The Government Shutdown Is Making D.C. Residents Drink More

But an expected uptick in alcohol-tax revenue probably won't offset other negative economic impacts on the District.


Patrons at Bullfeathers Restaurant watch from the bar as President Obama addresses the nation on Syria on Sept. 10.(Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

The government has been closed for two weeks now. So, what's a furloughed government employee or stressed congressional staffer supposed to do? Drink, apparently.

Mayor Vincent Gray on Wednesday listed the economic impact that the government shutdown has had on the District of Columbia. While income from alcohol taxes increased during the shutdown, the rest of the economic news was not so positive. Here are some of the numbers:

  • $217 million lost every day from federal and contractor wages in the D.C. metro area that have either been deferred or cancelled. This amounts to 17.6 percent of the region's economy.
  • $44 million decrease per week in economic activity in the District.
  • $6 million decrease in District tax revenue per week.
  • 7 percent decrease in restaurant traffic in the first week of October, compared with the same week in 2012.
  • 13,000 fewer hotel bookings in the first week of October, amounting to an 8.3 percent decrease (or $2 million less) from 2012.

The mayor's office is still finalizing numbers on the increase in alcohol-tax revenue. However, it did confirm that there was a 3 percent increase in restaurant beverage sales, which primarily consists of liquor, during the first week of October from the first week of September.

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