WASHINGTON-The National Retail Federation has sent a letter to leaders of the U.S. Congress urging them to work with the Obama administration to end the government shutdown.
In the letter, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said, “We strongly support passage of both a continuing resolution to provide funding of the federal government into the next fiscal year and a measure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.” Shay cited economic indicators that show that the shutdown has hurt consumer spending and depressed consumer confidence. He pointed out that recent figures from Gallup put consumer confidence at the same levels as that of the 2008 economic collapse.
Shay warned that “a lasting decline in consumer confidence is likely to translate into increased unemployment and slower growth in the coming months.” He also noted concerns by retailers about the lack of economic data and the processing of imported merchandise.
“Washington can’t keep governing from crisis to crisis and quarter to quarter,” Shay said. “We need leadership from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue on the key issues facing our country, particularly policies that put the economy on a firm footing for long-term growth.” Such policies would include comprehensive tax reform, new trade programs and entitlement reform, Shay added.
An NRF statement said the trade group will be coordinating with retailers and small business owners, and engaging members and grassroots advocates in its effort to get the government to reopen.