The government shut down has not affected many areas of the economy but in terms of the economic statistics that the government releases each week it has had a strong impact.
This week we have December Retail Sales delayed, Business Inventories delayed, housing starts delayed along with building permits. Weekly jobless claims was not delayed mostly because it is simply a compilation of the reports from all the states. The states do the work not federal employees. That number was strong at 213,000, a very low number. However it is likely to increase as federal workers begin to apply for benefits. There are a number of them not getting paid.
As long as the shutdown continues we are going to have to ferret out the path of the economy using none government numbers. That is going to be difficult, but not impossible.