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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

‘Less than 50-50’

President Trump pegged the chances that a new group of 17 House and Senate members would be able to forestall another government shutdown by crafting a deal in the next three weeks at “less than 50-50.” [The Wall Street Journal]

4 product categories

(Sponsored by Mott & Bow) For many men, a t-shirt, a button down and a pair of jeans go a long way, but not all manufacturers think in terms of style and variety. Fortunately, one brand offers numerous options across 4 product categories. Their premium denim comes in 3 fits and over 10 washes, their button downs come in 4 colors and 2 styles with 2 collar options. And their tees, which they say are the “softest tees you will ever wear,” come in 2 sleeve lengths and 10 colors. With this many possibilities, it won’t be hard to put together a seemingly unlimited number of outfit options for work, weekends and more.

$3 billion lost

The five-week government shutdown cost $11 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO projected that $8 billion of that will be recouped during the rest of this year, while $3 billion will never be seen or heard from again. [Politico]

84 percent of firms

The White House hoped its huge $1.5 trillion tax cut package, which reduced the corporate tax rate, would “boost business spending and job growth.” However, 84 percent of respondents to a poll from the National Association of Business Economics said that the package “has not caused their firms to change hiring or investment plans.” There were exceptions: Fifty percent of goods-producing respondents did say that they’d increased investment. [Reuters]

More than 70 percent of House members

The House of Representatives is, ostensibly, representative. I mean, it’s in the name. But its members tend to follow specific and elite career paths before joining the body. More than 70 percent of current House members, for example, were lawyers in private practice, businesspeople or medical professionals. As a result, the House is “much, much richer than the people it represents.” [The New York Times]

3 dead, 172 hurt

A rare tornado — the first in decades, apparently caused by a cold front hitting Cuba’s northern coast — touched down in Havana. The Category F3 storm, with winds between 155 and 199 miles per hour, killed at least three people and injured 172. [Associated Press]

41 days

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders held her first press briefing in 41 days. The gap was the longest in the history of the administration. President Trump had told Sanders “not to bother” with the briefings. [Fox News]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.