“The economic costs of a shutdown are going to increase the longer the shutdown occurs,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester,Pennsylvania and the second-best claims forecaster over the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “If this drags along for the next couple of weeks, the economic toll will be even more significant.”

Shares surged today amid signs lawmakers were moving to reach agreement on increasing the nation’s debt ceiling to avoid a government default. Absent a deal, the possibility that federal agencies will need to slash spending once the borrowing limit is reached probably means hiring plans will be put on hold as business leaders prepare for an economic slump.

Shares Jump

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1.6 percent to 1,683.21 at 11:42 a.m. in New York. President Barack Obamasaid he would accept a short-term increase in the debt limit without policy conditions and that he would negotiate on broader fiscal and health-care policy after the ceiling is raised and the shutdown ends.

Other news today showed the world’s third-biggest economy was strengthening. Machinery orders in Japan jumped in August to the highest level since 2008.

A partial U.S. federal government shutdown lasting through the end of the week could cost the economy 0.2 percentage point in growth, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists issued today. The damage escalates to a 0.5-point loss if the shutdown carries through Oct. 25.

Last week’s surge in the number of jobless claims was the biggest since the aftermath of superstorm Sandy in November. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed projected an increase to 311,000 from the prior week’s 308,000. Estimates ranged from claims of 304,000 to 340,000.

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