New Zealand: New Zealand’s Labor Party Proposes New Tool to Control Inflation
As Bloomberg reports, New Zealand’s labor party proposed a new tool for the Reserve Bank to control inflation in case that it wins September’s elections. It plans that the Reserve Bank may change the rate of a national pensions saving program, which is proposed to be compulsory for all income earners.

Japan: Japan Retail Sales Surge on Tax Hike
As the BBC News reports, retail sales in Japan grew at the fastest pace in 17 years in March as consumers rushed to make purchases ahead of the sales tax hike in April. Sales jumped 11% during the month, from a year ago – the most since March 1997.

United Kingdom: UK Economy Grew by 0.8% in Q1 2014
As The Guardian reports, Britain’s economy picked up pace in the first quarter of this year but not quite as fast as economists had been expecting. The Office for National Statistics said GDP expanded 0.8% in the first quarter after 0.7% growth in the final three months of last year.

Russia: Wimpy Sanctions Will Embolden Putin
Bloomberg View reports that the U.S. government has unveiled a new set of sanctions allegedly aimed at punishing Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country’s actions in Ukraine. However, the report says that in contrast to the West’s tough-sounding rhetoric, the sanctions seem carefully designed to have little impact.

India: India Elections: Double Vision at The Polls
An interesting article of FT’s Beyondbrics blog in which it states that India is known worldwide as an “orthodox Westminster-style democracy”, yet the largest in the world. However, the blog adds that the current general election reminds us of one of its peculiar features: the tendency of leading politicians to stand in not one but two parliamentary seats.

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