Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Most in US won't be able to escape 'fiscal cliff'

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Everyone who pays income tax â¿¿ and some who don't â¿¿ will feel it.

So will doctors who accept Medicare, people who get unemployment aid, defense contractors, air traffic controllers, national park rangers and companies that do research and development.

The package of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" takes effect in January unless Congress passes a budget deal by then. The economy would be hit so hard that it would likely sink into recession in the first half of 2013, economists say.

And no matter who you are, it will be all but impossible to avoid the pain.

Middle income families would have to pay an average of about $2,000 more next year, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has calculated.

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AAA: Thanksgiving travel should increase slightly

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Slightly more Americans will hit the road this Thanksgiving, according to AAA. That includes people who are choosing to drive instead of fly as household budgets remain tight.

In its annual Thanksgiving travel forecast released Tuesday, AAA predicts 43.6 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday, up just 0.7 percent from last year.

But while more people are traveling, it appears that the pent-up demand seen following the recession has largely dissipated. Demand grew a healthy 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively, in the two previous Thanksgiving holiday periods even though economic growth was moderate. AAA says it will take a stronger economy to spur a significant jump in travel demand going forward.

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US government runs $120 billion October deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The federal government started the 2013 budget year with a $120 billion deficit in October, an indication that the nation is on a path to its fifth straight $1 trillion-plus annual deficit.

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