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US president Donald Trump’s plans to boost the US economy may be grabbing the headlines, but in the background the eurozone economy is quietly exceeding expectations. The single currency area has now posted 14 consecutive quarters of growth, and new data show that economic sentiment has accelerated to its highest level since the Greek crisis in 2015. Job creation is also at a near nine-year record.

The numbers undermine accusations by Peter Navarro, the head of Mr Trump’s new National Trade Council, that Germany is “exploiting” other EU countries. In fact, growth rates have improved across the eurozone, with the important exception of Italy. Spain grew 3.2 per cent in 2016 and growth in France has also improved rapidly from a contraction in the second quarter. (FT)

In the news

Brexit business hit Some of Britain’s biggest companies say their businesses are already suffering from Brexit, according to a survey by Ipsos Mori. The findings lend weight to a cross-party effort by MPs this week to avert the risk of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal. (FT)

Romanian rowback Romania’s justice minister is to publish details of new legislation on the criminal code after the government revoked a controversial decree that decriminalised some corruption offences after mass demonstrations. Demonstrators remained on the streets, saying they did not trust the government’s commitment to fight graft. (Reuters, FT, BBC)

Facebook tackles French fake news The social media platform has partnered with eight French media outlets to try to stem the flow of fake news by enabling users to flag information they suspect to be false, then make the links accessible to its partnered media outlets to verify the contentious article and tweak the algorithm if there is an issue with the post. (Politico)

Cancelled Chinese deals increase Chinese overseas deals worth almost $75bn were cancelled last year as a regulatory clampdown and restrictions on foreign exchange caused 30 acquisitions with European and US groups to fall through. But Chinese groups are still buying at a rapid pace — direct investment into the US and Europe more than doubled to a record $94.2bn in 2016. (FT)

India rail reform The Indian government is phasing out track inspectors on its vast colonial-era railway network in a move that the government in New Delhi says will slash the number of deadly derailments. Instead, electronic sensors will be installed across the system. (FT)

It’s a big day for

IMF and Greece The International Monetary Fund will hold a board meeting to discuss whether it will participate in Greece’s current bailout programme, the country’s third in seven years. (Bloomberg)

Queen Elizabeth The British monarch celebrates 65 years on the throne, making her the first to reach a sapphire jubilee. (BBC)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s WeekAhead.

Food for thought

Death of the American factory dream A young woman’s fatal accident in an Alabama factory exposes the realities of the subcontracted manufacturing economy. Is a blue-collar manufacturing job — with its 12-hour shifts, seven-day week and hourly wage of about $12 — really how to make America great again? (FT)

Life and death in Eastern Ukraine One family’s attempt to navigate the bureaucracy of reporting the destruction of their home by shelling shows the suffering and banality of life in eastern Ukraine as conflict intensifies in the region. (Jazeera)

Not ‘lone wolves’ after all An inside look at how Isis operatives conceive and guide terrorist attacks around the world from behind a wall of anonymity. (NYT)

China’s ‘fattened geese’ The abduction of Chinese magnate Xiao Jianhua from his Hong Kong apartment shows how China’s tycoons, and their wealth, are easy prey in a one-party state. (NAR)

You can always get what you want “Almost everyone was taught ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ before they went to primary school. But hardly anyone has been taught how to do it properly,” writes the FT’s Lucy Kellaway. Hint: There is no level at which flattery stops working. (FT)

Video of the day

A look at the week ahead The FT looks at some of the big stories of the coming week, including what happens next in the UK debate on Brexit, oil group results, data on German economic strength and the future for Angela Merkel as leader of the Christian Democrats. (FT)

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