CEOs call for rise in retirement age
An influential group of business CEOs is pushing a plan to increase gradually the full retirement age to 70 for both Social Security and Medicare and to privatize partially the health insurance program for older Americans.
The Business Roundtable’s plan would protect those 55 and older from cuts, but younger workers would face significant changes. The plan unveiled Wednesday would result in smaller annual benefit increases for all Social Security recipients. Initial benefits for wealthy retirees also would be smaller.
Medicare recipients would be able to enroll in the traditional program or in private plans that could adjust premiums based on age and health status.
Fed: Economy saw gains at end of 2012
Holiday shopping, strong auto sales and a recovering housing market helped boost the U.S. economy from the middle of November through early January, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday.
The Fed said 12 of its regional banking districts reported “modest or moderate” growth in the final weeks of 2012. Of those, only St. Louis said growth had slowed from the previous survey, which covered October through early November.
Consumers increased spending at the end of the year in every district. Auto sales were steady or stronger in 10 districts. Nearly all of the districts reported increases in home construction and home sales.
Still, employers in some parts of the country delayed hiring because of uncertainty over the fiscal cliff.
Charities worry law will reduce giving
Charities and nonprofit organizations are worried that new limits on tax deductions for high earners will hurt donations just as charitable giving is starting to rebound from the depths of the recession.
Experts doubt the new limits on deductions will have much impact on giving, but some major nonprofit organizations fear they’re a sign that the charitable deduction is no longer sacrosanct on Capitol Hill, just as Congress is promising a broader effort later this year to overhaul the tax code.
EBay has best year
EBay finished last year with a flourish as bargain-hunting holiday shoppers flocked to its Internet shopping mall and digital payment service to help lift the company’s fourth-quarter earnings above analyst projections.
The results announced Wednesday served as the exclamation point on the best year yet for eBay Inc., an e-commerce pioneer founded in 1995 when the concept of buying merchandise online seemed absurd.
Online shopping since has become a staple for hordes of consumers, turning eBay into a thriving business and a Wall Street favorite.
From wire reports