US commerce dept not to publish economic data during shutdown; new home sales figures release to be postponed: Report

The US department of commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and Census Bureau will not publish economic data during the ongoing partial government shutdown, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing an agency spokeswoman.

File image of US department of commerce in Washington. Reuters

File image of US department of commerce in Washington. Reuters

The commerce department releases key figures on gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, personal income and spending, trade and new home sales, much of which are closely watched by investors and policymakers.

“Due to the lapse in Congressional appropriations for fiscal year 2019, the US department of commerce is closed,” a notice on the department’s website said. “Commerce department websites will not be updated until further notice.”

A commerce department official said previously that new home sales data scheduled for release on Thursday would be postponed as long as the partial government shutdown continued.

Other data likely to be postponed includes revised figures on US building permits that had been scheduled for Thursday and a report on advance economic indicators, including the goods trade balance, that had been scheduled for Friday.

The partial shutdown of the federal government was set to enter its sixth day after President Donald Trump said he was prepared to wait as long as it takes to get $5 billion from taxpayers for his US-Mexico border wall.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the labour department would continue to release the data it compiles, including new claims for jobless benefits, the monthly employment report and other inflation measures.

The commerce department did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

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Updated Date: Dec 27, 2018 12:35 PM

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