WASHINGTON Americans on Social Security benefits may get good news on Wednesday when the government could announce the first cost-of-living increase in two years for 2012.
Analysts expect the Social Security Administration to announce an increase in benefit checks after it receives data on consumer prices from another government agency.
Social Security Administration spokeswoman Kia Green declined to confirm that it will be an increase.
Some 55 million Americans on social security got no increase in benefits this year and in 2010 because inflation was too low.
The American Institute for Economic Research, a think tank in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, calculates the 2012 cost-of-living adjustment should boost checks by between 3.5 and 3.7 percent.
In addition to payments to retired people, the adjustment also triggers such changes as the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax, the institute said.