Defense Spending

General Dynamics Blames Losses on Defense Cuts

Devalues business by $2 billion

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One of the nation's largest federal contractors reported a $2 billion loss Wednesday and blamed it on defense cuts, a sign that the government spending that provided the rocket fuel for the metro area's decade-long economic expansion is now dissipating.

General Dynamics, based in Falls Church, said it was devaluing its information technology business by $2 billion amid falling government demand. The announcement was particularly worrisome because IT contracting is the key ingredient to the metro area's government-powered growth.

Information technology appears to be one of the first segments of the private sector to sustain tangible damage from federal budget cuts — because it's easier for the government to stop rewiring offices than it is to stop building a ship or a tank.