IRS says tax season will start late

The New York Times: "The Internal Revenue Service plans to delay the start of tax-filing season by a week or two because of the partial government shutdown, the agency said Tuesday. But taxpayers will still have to turn in their 2013 returns by April 15.... Under the delay, the IRS would start accepting returns between Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, the agency said, and would make a final determination in December on when the filing season would start. It will be the second year in a row that the IRS has held off accepting tax returns because of a political standoff."


U.S. business borrowing for equipment falls 6 percent in September

Reuters: "U.S. companies borrowed less to spend on capital investment last month, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association said. Companies signed up for $7.7 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, down 6 percent from a year earlier. However, borrowing rose 20 percent from August.... Washington, D.C.-based ELFA, a trade association that keeps track of economic activity for the $725 billion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals totaled 77.3 percent in September, down from 79.1 percent the previous month. ELFA's leasing and finance index measures the volume of commercial equipment financed in the United States. It is designed to complement the U.S. Commerce Department's durable goods orders report."


Shutdown will hinder true gauge of U.S. economy

The New York Times: Economists are being forced to come up with new ways to gauge the economy's strength as the aftereffects of the partial government shutdown distort the usual metrics. Unlike the delayed jobs data released on Tuesday, figures for unemployment and job creation in October and November, experts say, will be skewed as hundreds of thousands of government workers and contractors disappear from the workforce and then reappear in next month's survey. The September jobs report was disappointing, with the economy adding 148,000 new jobs instead of the expected 185,000, but stocks rose on anticipation that Federal Reserve stimulus efforts would continue well into 2014.