Must-Read Money Stories for Tuesday, March 7

by March 7, 2017

China’s targeted economic growth for 2017 would be a slight dip compared to what the industrial powerhouse saw last year. (Photo via

Free degree

Last fall, Oregon became the second state in the country to offer tuition-free community college. With student debt a major issue for many of today’s young adults, the idea of curtailing college tuition has grown in popularity. CNNMoney reports, however, that most of the money is not going to poor students. After one semester, the majority of the money from the Oregon Promise scholarship is going to middle- and upper-income students, with nearly 7,000 taking advantage of the scholarship. Right now it saves the richest students up to $3,248 a year while the poorest students save only $1,000. The program is expected to cost the state $10.9 million this year.

GM scales back in Europe

General Motors is selling its two major brands in Europe and pulling back its operation after struggling to turn a profit there for close to two decades, according to the Washington Post. GM is selling its Opel and Vauxhall brands, valued at about $2.3 billion, to the French Automaker PSA group. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year if it clears regulators and will make PSA group the second-largest automaker in Europe behind Volkswagen. GM is not completely exiting the European market and still plans to sell Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles there.

Exxon spends big in Gulf

The Los Angeles Times reports that Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to spend $20 billion over 10 years on refineries, chemical and liquified natural gas plants along the Gulf Coast, expanding current plants and building new ones. Most of the facilities will be used to create petroleum products for export. Chairman and Chief Executive Darren Woods said the investment would create 12,000 permanent jobs and 35,000 construction jobs. The announcement comes as Woods makes his first rounds as CEO after succeeding Rex Tillerson, who left the company to become secretary of state.

China’s targeted growth dips

China is targeting growth of 6.5 percent in 2017, which would be down slightly from last year’s actual 6.7 percent rate, USA Today reports. That marks a 25-year low for the country, though if realized, would still mean China’s economy was second only to the United States. The last time China’s target for gross dipped was in 1992 when it fell to 6 percent.

Get a quick snapshot of the day’s most newsworthy business stories in your mailbox each morning. It’s fast and free. Sign up here.