OECD backs Trump’s plans, rebel-held Aleppo split and Uber for laundry

Group says president-elect’s pledge on infrastructure spending will boost US growth, combat inequality and energise workers

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has backed Donald Trump’s economic plans, predicting that the president-elect’s pledge to boost spending on infrastructure will increase growth in the US, combat inequality and energise workers. The verdict reflects how views of US prospects have changed since the election. The FT’s Chris Giles writes that before the vote, international institutions like the IMF and World Bank saw Mr Trump as a sort of Voldemort figure, who — like the Harry Potter villain — was referred to in hushed tones.

The OECD over the past year has supported capital investment, reversing its previous support for budgetary prudence. In its twice yearly economic outlook, it marked down the UK’s prospects as it heads towards a possible hard Brexit. But it forecasts that the US will be the best performing large advanced economy in 2017.

In the news

Rebel-held Aleppo split Syrian government forces have taken key districts of Aleppo after a ferocious air campaign, splitting rebel-held territory. Thousands have fled the area after heavy fighting in the area. (BBC, Guardian)

Fillon for France’s republicans François Fillon won the French centre-right presidential nomination on Sunday in a landslide vote that brings him closer to the presidency next year. Mr Fillon will now battle Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front, who is likely to face him in the presidential run-off in early 2017. By conventional wisdom, his “thumping victory” as good as hands him the keys to the Elysée Palace. (FT, Economist)

Italian market mayhem Up to eight of Italy’s troubled banks risk failing if Prime Minister Matteo Renzi loses a constitutional referendum next weekend and ensuing market turbulence deters investors from recapitalising them, officials and senior bankers say. (FT)

Life after Fidel The death of the controversial Cuban leader is fuelling uncertainty in the country and abroad, and may make Cuba’s progress harder. It comes, John Paul Rathbone writes, as the political left has ceded to the right globally. Here is the FT’s obituary and a longer obituary by the Miami Herald, the home town newspaper of the Cuban exile community. (FT, Miami Herald)

Oil traders warn Opec on production deal Some of the world’s biggest oil traders have delivered a stark warning to the Opec cartel, saying a failure to sign off on a production cut this week will trigger another dramatic drop in crude prices. The 14-member producer group meets in Vienna on Wednesday to try to secure the first supply deal since the financial crisis. (FT)

It’s a big day for

Ukip The UK Independence party’s third leader in three months will be announced. Paul Nuttall and Suzanne Evans, the two main contenders who are both MEPs, have promised to unify the Eurosceptics following months of infighting. The FT’s Henry Mance has a version of what a letter from former Ukip leader Nigel Farage might look like.(FT) 

US retail Soaring US ecommerce sales on the day after Thanksgiving have put Black Friday on course to challenge Cyber Monday (today) as the year’s busiest online shopping day. (FT)

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

Food for thought

The man who doubled the economy Yemi Kale, head of Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, discusses the daunting task of data collection in a country of 180m speaking more than 250 languages, and how he realised that his country’s economy was 89 per cent bigger than previously measured. (FT)

South Korea ‘in a state of total crisis’ Park Geun-hye swept to power four years ago pledging to overhaul South Korea’s biggest family-owned companies. Today, the president stands accused of conspiring to extort millions of dollars from those same corporations, amid a sprawling scandal that is paralysing the country. There were the largest rallies so far over the weekend, with potentially 1.5m in Seoul alone. (FT, BBC)

Profiting from the UK housing crisis Britain’s biggest builders have pocketed billions of pounds in recent years — with executives raking in hundreds of millions even as the country’s affordable housing targets were consistently missed. (TBIJ)

Uber for laundry Electrolux, the Swedish appliance maker, is exploring starting a new project in which consumers would use their own washing machines to wash other people’s clothes. (FT)

The art of ear canal massage Ear-cleaning has been a craft in the Chinese city of Chengdu for more than 400 years. Craftspeople go through a rigorous training and have applied for world heritage status with Unesco. (NAR)

Video of the day

A look at the week ahead Daniel Garrahan highlights some of the big stories the FT is watching this week, including Opec countries meeting in Vienna, Italy’s referendum on constitutional reform and the Austrian presidential election. (FT)

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