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As U.S. inches one day closer to federal government shutdown Sept. 30, economist says Hampton Roads would be especially hard hit

ODU's Bob McNab says if shutdown lasts a long time, the result could be a recession.

NORFOLK, Va. — Congress seems to be inching perilously closer to a government shutdown and negotiations appear to be going nowhere.

The clock is ticking, with 12 days to go and no solution in sight.

If as it now appears that the Republican-led House and Democrat-controlled Senate can't come to terms, the federal government will shut down at midnight September 30.

And here in Hampton Roads, with 40% of the local economy directly tied to federal spending, it would be bad news.

"For us, we are more dramatically impacted than almost any other metro region in the United States because of our unique relationship with the federal government. If there's a long government shutdown, it will shave percentage points off our economic growth in 2024," said Old Dominion University Chair of the Department of Economics and the Director of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy Bob McNab.

In an interview with 13News Now on Monday, McNab said everything from real estate to car sales, to business at local restaurants and everything else will be harmed.

"People literally won't be able to pay their mortgages. They won't be able to fill up. They will not be able to go grocery shopping. This would be the equivalent of running over a bed of nails and flattening the tires of the economy," he said.

The last shutdown, from December 2018 until January 2019, lasted 35 days, the longest one ever.

If this one lasted as long or longer, McNab says the impact on the Hampton Roads economy could be dire.

"A government shutdown of a couple of days, a week, probably wouldn't affect much. But, if you start stretching into months, then, we would really have to think about whether or not the region would topple into a recession in 2024." he said.

 This is nothing new. The House Archivist says before this, there have been 20 government shutdowns dating back to 1977.

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