Business Briefs – July 31, 2018

U.S. Says Driving Would Be Riskier If Fuel Standards Tougher

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration says people would drive more and be exposed to increased risk if their cars got better gas mileage, an argument intended to justify freezing Obama-era toughening of fuel standards. Transportation experts dispute the arguments, contained in a draft of the administration’s proposals prepared this summer, excerpts of which were obtained by The Associated Press.

Auditors: 30M Taxpayers Will Owe More Due to Low Withholding

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional auditors say about 30 million people — 21 percent of U.S. taxpayers — will have to come up with more money to pay their taxes next year because their employers withheld too little from their paychecks. New tax withholding tables for employers were put together by the government early this year. About 30 million workers received pay that was “under-withheld” — making their paychecks bigger this year but bringing a larger bill at tax time next spring.

U.S. Consumer Confidence Edges Up in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans were a bit more confident about the economy in July, but their expectations for the near future dimmed slightly. The Conference Board, a business research group, says its consumer confidence index rose to 127.4 this month from 127.1 in June. The index measures both consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions and expectations for the future.

Fed Set to Hold Rates Steady, Remain on Track for More Hikes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but solid economic growth combined with rising inflation is likely to keep it on track for another two hikes this year even as President Donald Trump has ramped up criticism of its push to raise rates.