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Economists Turn to Shutdown-Proof Reports With U.S. Data Delayed

  • Tuesday’s trade report is latest release to be postponed
  • ‘We’re flying blind to a large extent,’ one economist says
Shutdown Nears With Congress At Impasse Over Trump's Border Wall
Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

The U.S. government shutdown has thrown some key economic measures into the dark, forcing analysts to focus on alternative data to gauge the effects of a trade war and the pace of growth in recent weeks.

The Commerce Department, which houses the statistics-issuing Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis, is among the agencies -- covering about 25 percent of government funding -- that lack approved spending. That puts on hold the November international-trade data originally scheduled for Tuesday morning in Washington, following the postponement of reports on factory orders, construction spending and new home sales.