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    TALKING POINTS

    Two distributors of public radio content to merge

    MEDIA

    Two distributors of public radio content to merge

    Two distributors of public radio content are merging, in part to capitalize on the growing demand for podcasts. Cambridge-based PRX and Minneapolis-based PRI, both nonprofits, announced the dea Wednesday, bringing together PRI’s award-winning journalism and PRX’s audio distribution technology. WGBH, the Boston-based public TV broadcaster, acquired PRI in 2012 and has pledged to contribute $10 million to the new organization over five years. Kerri Hoffman, the CEO of PRX, will be CEO of the new company, while PRI CEO Alisa Miller will become executive chair of the new board. About 90 people work for PRI and 30 for PRX. The deal is expected to be completed in the fall. The new organization will be based in Boston with offices in New York and Minneapolis. — JON CHESTO

    RIDE HAILING

    Uber continues growth, narrows losses

    Just over a year after Travis Kalanick was ousted as chief executive of Uber, the ride-hailing company released new financial results that showed continued growth and narrowing losses as it advances toward an initial public offering. On Wednesday, Uber posted a loss of $891 million for the second quarter, compared with a loss of more than $1 billion during the same period a year earlier. The company took in $12.01 billion in gross bookings in the quarter — or the amount of passenger fares and food delivery fees — up 41 percent from a year ago. After paying out fees to drivers, revenue was $2.7 billion. When Uber turned a profit last quarter because it offloaded businesses in Russia and Southeast Asia, it cautioned that bump would not last as it planned to reinvest the money. Uber is not required to disclose earnings because it is privately held, but it has made a habit of publicly releasing its numbers. — NEW YORK TIMES

    MEDIA

    Fox Business anchor explains comments on Denmark

    A Fox Business Network anchor has clarified her comments on socialism in Denmark after triggering outrage among some of the Nordic country’s most prominent government members. Trish Regan was criticized by Danish Finance Minister Kristian Jensen and the country’s ambassador to the United States, Lars Gert Lose, among others, for a broadcast in which she juxtaposed Denmark with Venezuela in order to condemn socialism. Regan responded to the backlash with what she said was a clarification of her position on the subject. ‘‘I do want to clarify my point from a segment last week on socialism,’’ Regan said in a statement distributed on behalf of the Fox Business Network. ‘‘Just to be clear, I was never implying that conditions in Denmark were similar in any way to the current tragedy on the ground there in Venezuela,’’ she said. ‘‘I was merely pointing out, using reports from The Atlantic, The Independent and other publications, that socialism is not the way.’’ — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    WORKPLACE

    Employee dies in vat of oil in facility that provides services to Disney World

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    Authorities say a worker has died after falling into a vat of oil at a facility near Walt Disney World. Authorities told the Orlando Sentinel the 61-year-old man slipped and fell into the vat early Wednesday while emptying oil and grease from a tractor-trailer. Local news outlets reported the facility is part of a district created to provide municipal services to the Disney theme park. Deputies said witnesses couldn’t pull the man from the oil. He became overwhelmed by fumes and slipped further down. The Reedy Creek Fire Department recovered the man’s body. His name wasn’t immediately released. In a statement to WKMG-TV, Disney said the victim worked for Harvest Power, a Massachusetts-based company that converts food waste and yard waste into biofuel, compost, mulch and fertilizer. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

    TRANSPORTATION

    Ford to spend more than $700m to renovate Detroit’s vacant train depot

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    Ford Motor Co. plans to spend roughly $740 million renovating Detroit’s long vacant train depot and redeveloping other area properties for research and development of self-driving vehicles. The Dearborn-based company in June used the Michigan Central depot as a backdrop while publicly laying out plans for the 105-year-old train station and surrounding Corktown neighborhood, but the anticipated cost wasn’t detailed. The automaker’s Ford Land development arm announced Tuesday it expects to seek $250 million in tax incentives to help offset the cost. Ford’s plans call for the depot to be redeveloped over the next several years. The last passenger train left the station in 1988. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

    RETAIL

    Macy’s progress does not impress investors

    Macy’s has some momentum, but investors are spooked by the cost of maintaining it. Although the department-store chain posted same-store sales that beat estimates and boosted its earnings and sales guidance, the stock tumbled nearly 16 percent. The decline is another sign that retailers still face deep pessimism on Wall Street as consumers flock to e-commerce. Macy’s has been spending to win back shoppers by offering discounts and cutting back on unnecessary inventory. Like its peers, the company is struggling with a broader shift by consumers to online shopping and away from brick-and-mortar stores. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    ECONOMY

    Productivity rises in second quarter

    US productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace in more than three years, while labor costs actually fell. The April-June increase in productivity followed a much weaker 0.3 percent rate of gain in the first quarter, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. It was the strongest advance since a 3.1 percent gain in the first quarter of 2015. Labor costs actually fell at a 0.9 percent rate in the second quarter, the weakest showing in nearly four years. Productivity, a key factor determining how fast the economy can grow and how much living standards can increase, has been anemic throughout this expansion. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

    REAL ESTATE

    New Zealand to ban foreigners from buying residential property

    New Zealand’s government will ban foreigners from buying residential property, making good on its promise to crack down on offshore speculators who it says are partly to blame for spiraling house prices. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern campaigned on a foreign buyer ban in last year’s election, saying overseas speculators had driven up house prices and made property unattainable for many young Kiwis. Prices have surged more than 60 percent in the past decade amid record immigration and a construction shortfall, driving home ownership to its lowest since 1951. While data suggest foreign buyers play only a small role in New Zealand’s housing market, wealthy Americans such as tech billionaire Peter Thiel and former broadcaster Matt Lauer have made headlines for snapping up some of the most pristine property in the country. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    RETAIL

    Consumers went shopping in July

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    Americans shopped at a healthy pace in July, buying more cars, clothes, and appliances, evidence that consumers are helping drive robust economic growth. Retail sales rose at a 0.5 percent annual rate in July, after a 0.2 percent increase the previous month, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. June’s increase, though, was revised lower from a previous estimate of a 0.5 percent annual rate. Consumers appear to be feeling upbeat and are in overall solid financial shape. The unemployment rate is near an 18-year low. And economic growth, along with hiring, has accelerated. On average, Americans are saving more, which may encourage future spending. — ASSOCIATED PRESS