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Business Highlights

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US productivity grows at faster 2.9 percent rate

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ U.S. workers were more productive this summer than initially thought, while costing their companies less.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent from July through September. That's the fastest pace in two years and higher than the initial estimate of 1.9 percent. Labor costs dropped at a rate of 1.9 percent, more than the 0.1 percent dip initially estimated.

Productivity was revised higher because economic growth was faster in the third quarter than first estimated, while hours worked were unchanged. Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work.

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Cashing in on Gangnam Style's YouTube fame

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) â¿¿ As "Gangnam Style" gallops toward 1 billion views on YouTube, the first Asian pop artist to capture a massive global audience has gotten richer click by click. So too has his agent and his grandmother. But the money from music sales isn't flowing in from the rapper's homeland South Korea or elsewhere in Asia.

With one song, 34-year-old Park Jae-sang â¿¿ better known as PSY â¿¿ is set to become a millionaire from YouTube ads and iTunes downloads, underlining a shift in how money is being made in the music business. An even bigger dollop of cash will come from TV commercials.

From just those sources, PSY and his camp will rake in at least $7.9 million this year, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of publicly available information and industry estimates. But for online music sales in South Korea, he'll earn less than $60,000.

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Big miner buys pair of energy companies for $9 billion

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Mining company Freeport-McMoRan is buying a pair of oil and gas producers for $9 billion, creating a natural resources conglomerate with assets ranging from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to a huge copper mine in Indonesia.

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