PFM Provider Analyzes Government Shutdown's Impact on Spending

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Check, a personal financial management (PFM) company that lets users link accounts and pay their bills, found a unique use for its data gathering tools: evaluate how the government shutdown impacted consumers' spending patterns.

Among the more startling findings of the study, which was announced Wednesday? Some American government workers slashed spending by 15% in the last 10 days of September, a trend that continued through October. The data also showed Americans across the nation cut spending by about 5% starting in the last 10 days of September.

Researchers from University of California, Berkeley and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor combed the anonymous and aggregated data from December 4, 2012 to October 31, 2013 to identify the impact. The data set includes 50,787 users across the U.S.

"Despite being short lived, the government shutdown caused a reduction in consumer spending that was felt across the nation," said Steven Tadelis, associate professor, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, in a press release.

The data analysis is the second time Check offered its data to researchers for a report. Check plans to produce more such reports.

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