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TALKING POINTS

Fewer scallops expected into 2023

Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

SEAFOOD

Fewer scallops expected into 2023

America’s scallop fishing industry will continue to decline in catch into next year due to a decrease in the availability of the oft-pricy shellfish off the East Coast, federal regulators say. The decline in scallops is happening as prices for the shellfish, one of the most lucrative seafoods in America, has increased amid inflation and fluctuations in catch. Seafood counters that sold scallops for $20 per pound to customers two years ago often sell them for $25 per pound or more now. US scallop fishers harvested more than 60 million pounds of scallops in 2019, but the catch has declined since, and fishers were projected to harvest about 40 million pounds of scallops in the 2021 fishing year. That number is projected to fall to 34 million pounds in the 2022 fishing year, which started this spring, according to the New England Fishery Management Council. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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HOUSING

Price increases down, ever so slightly, in April

Home-price growth started to slow a bit in the United States in April. A national measure of prices climbed 20.4 percent in April, down from the 20.6 percent gain in March, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index showed Tuesday. Mortgage rates have nearly doubled since the end of 2021. The run-up in rates, combined with high prices, are squeezing potential buyers and starting to slow housing markets in some of the most popular pandemic boomtowns. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

ECONOMY

Consumers dogged by inflation, higher interest rates

US consumers were less confident again in June as persistent inflation and rising interest rates have Americans as pessimistic as they’ve been about the future in almost a decade. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index slipped to 98.7 in June from 103.2 in May, the second straight monthly decline. The business research group’s expectations index, based on consumers’ six-month outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions, tumbled in June to 66.4 — its lowest level since 2013 — from 73.7 in May. It was above 80 in February and has been a consistently weak spot in the survey recently. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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TRAVEL

Dufry and Benetton team up

Dufry, the world’s biggest duty-free operator, and the Benetton family’s Autogrill SpA are nearing a deal that would create a leading player in travel retail, people familiar with the matter said. Talks between the Swiss and Italian companies are at an advanced stage and an agreement could be signed as soon as next month, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the discussions are private. After making their fortune in textiles more than 50 years ago, the Treviso, Italy-based Benettons began diversifying in the 1990s, notably through a string of investments in highway and airport operators and concessionaires. The family took over Autogrill, which specializes in food and beverage services on toll highways, in 1995. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

RETAIL

Victoria’s Secret promises more business for Black vendors

Victoria’s Secret joined the growing ranks of companies pledging to increase the amount of business they do with Black-owned firms and to promote more Black workers. The lingerie giant said it is working with the Fifteen Percent Pledge organization to gather data and establish a system with the aim of eventually reaching a point where 15 percent of its suppliers are Black-owned firms, up from around 1 to 2 percent currently. Those suppliers include everything from food and beverage vendors at events to third-party brands sold through its online collaborations. The retailer has been trying to reset its image after years of criticism over its marketing strategies, lack of size-inclusive products, and misogynistic corporate culture. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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CLIMATE CHANGE

Pandemic-fueled drop in emissions, consumption is over

A historic drop in greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly reversed course last year when the dirtiest fossil fuel made a comeback, according to oil giant BP. The findings show the difficulty of achieving pledges from last year’s COP26 climate talks, where delegates clinched a historic deal to curb coal use in an attempt to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times, the level that scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic warming. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

RIDE HAILING

Uber backs Australian law that sets minimum wages, allows for a union

Uber agreed to back any new legislation in Australia that would set minimum wages for rideshare and food delivery drivers and allow them to join a union, a concession from the technology company as gig workers worldwide battle for improved pay and benefits. After months of talks with the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia, Uber said Tuesday it would support the creation of an independent body that would set industry standards on earnings, benefits, and conditions for gig workers. They should also have the right to join a union and collectively bargain, Uber said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

INDUSTRY

KKR out of bidding war for Toshiba

KKR is backing away from a potential $22 billion bidding war for Toshiba, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the discussions. The private equity giant has lost enthusiasm for a takeover of the Japanese industrial icon, opting instead to acquire businesses that will get spun off during a privatization process, the newspaper said. KKR’s retreat could pave the way for rivals like Bain Capital to acquire the company, which is trying to leave behind years of scandal and mismanagement. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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ENERGY

Offices in Tokyo go dark to save electricity

Japan’s government called for Tokyo residents to continue conserving electricity by switching off the lights as forecasts for further scorching heat threaten to put more pressure on the grid. Offices across the city are going dark to help conserve energy. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government turned off lights in some offices Tuesday afternoon, local newspaper Mainichi reported. The municipal government also stopped one of its elevators in an effort to curb power usage, the report said. Japan’s temperatures for the last 10 days of June are expected to be the hottest for that period in at least 100 years, according to public broadcaster NHK. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

PHARMACIES

Walgreens drops its plan to sell Boots

Walgreens Boots Alliance is abandoning the sale of the Boots drugstore chain in the UK citing “unexpected and dramatic change” in the global financial markets since launching the sales process in January. The American health care group had been in talks with a consortium between Reliance Industries and Apollo Global Management over the more than $6.1 billion sale of Britain’s biggest pharmacy chain. As a result of “market instability severely impacting financing availability, no third party has been able to make an offer that adequately reflects the high potential value of Boots,” Walgreens said in a statement Tuesday. The recent strong performance of Boots, and its key No7 beauty brand, is also behind the decision to retain the business, the company added in the statement. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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