NEW YORK, New York (CNN) - CNN's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Thursday, March 7.
Fed reports modest growth
The U.S. economy expanded and the labor market improved a little in January and February, amid higher payroll taxes and lingering uncertainty over Washington's spending plans, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday. Most of the Fed's 12 districts have seen either "modest" or "moderate" growth since the start of January, according to the Fed's "beige book" report, which is based on anecdotes from business contacts and economists across the country. Two districts, Boston and Chicago, reported slow growth.
Amid furloughs, D.C. workers paid to stay home
Even as hundreds of federal workers are bracing for furloughs and layoffs, those in the Washington D.C. area got to stay at home on Wednesday without losing any pay. A winter storm is making its way to the nation's capital and expected to dump between 10 and 30 inches of snow in the area, prompting the Office of Personnel Management to call in a snow day. That means all federal offices in the area will be closed for business and workers will be get to stay at home with pay.
House tells postal service to keep six-day delivery
A spending measure passed by the House on Wednesday to keep the government operating through September requires that the Postal Service maintain a six-day mail delivery schedule, a potential setback for the agency, which announced last month that it planned go to five-day deliveries to cut costs. The legislation passed the House 267 to 151, with 137 Democrats voting against it. The measure now moves to the Senate.
Face-lift at Facebook, to keep its users engaged
Facebook plans to announce on Thursday a substantial redesign of its News Feed - a makeover aimed at both keeping users glued to the social network and luring more advertising dollars. Company executives have broadly said they want to make the News Feed, the first page every user sees upon logging in, more relevant. In an earnings call with Wall Street analysts in January, the company's founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, offered some hints of what a reimagined News Feed might look like: bigger photos, more videos and "more engaging ads."