GLOBAL ECONOMY

World Bank lowering

its forecast for growth

The World Bank on Tuesday downgraded its forecast for the global economy in light of trade conflicts, financial strains and unexpectedly sharp slowdowns in wealthier countries.

The bank, an anti-poverty agency, expects the world economy to grow 2.6% this year. That would be the slowest calendar-year growth since 2016, and it is down from the 2.9% expansion the agency forecast in January.

The World Bank downgraded every major region of the world, though it kept its 2019 forecast for U.S. growth at 2.5%. In the 19 countries that use the euro currency, growth is forecast to slow to 1.2%, down from 1.8% last year and the 1.6% the World Bank expected in January.

Slowed by the Trump administration's trade war with China, global trade is expected to expand just 2.6% this year, the weakest pace since the 2008 financial crisis.

JOBS

Walmart adds benefits

for high school students

Walmart is extending its debt-free college benefits to high schoolers as a way to attract and retain workers in a tight labor market.

The nation's largest private employer said Tuesday it will offer free college SAT and ACT prep for its workers in high school, while offering two to three free general education college classes through an educational startup. Walmart estimates about 25,000 people under the age of 18 work at its stores, a fraction of its 1.3 million person U.S. workforce.

It is an expansion of a program Walmart launched last year offering affordable access to a college degree for full-time and part-time workers who have been with the company at least 90 days.

LABOR

Salary dispute slows

largest Nutella plant

French workers are threatening are bringing the world's biggest Nutella factory to a near-standstill in a showdown over salary negotiations.

Tensions have been mounting at the site in Villers-Ecalles in Normandy, where activists from the Workers' Force union have been barring trucks from entering or leaving the factory for a week.

The plant produces 600,000 jars of the chocolate and hazelnut spread.

ENERGY

Anheuser-Busch enters

solar energy partnership

Anheuser-Busch is making good on its pledge to be a more renewable brewer.

The company said it is partnering with San Francisco-based solar developer Recurrent Energy, which will build and maintain a 2,000-acre solar farm in Pecos County, Texas.

Once it's completed in 2021, Anheuser-Busch will buy credits based on the energy the facility is delivering to the grid. Those credits will offset the electricity the company uses at its 22 U.S. breweries.

The new solar facility is the size of 1,500 football fields and will produce 650 gigawatt hours of energy each year.