France: Quelle Horreur! France’s Political Triple-Threat
The French political landscape features three major issues today: growing discontent with the ruling Socialist Party led by President Francois Holland, internal conflict and corruption scandals within the main opposition party UMP, and the startling rise of the far-right, anti-EU Front National party led by Marine Le Pen. (Source: CNBC)

Thailand: Weak April Export, Output Data Shows Thai Army Faces Tough Test
The latest data for Thai trade show that exports fell 0.9% in annual terms, while factory output declined for the 13th straight month. The weak figures make it harder for the military junta, which seized control of the country on 22 May, to tackle economic problems. A recession is seen as unavoidable. (Source: Reuters)

Latin America: Growth Propects Among Latin America are Divided
Raymond Collit points out the different growth prospects between the Pacific and the Atlantic regions of Latin America. He notes the better growth prospects for the former, including the Pacific Alliance trade group that is formed by Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. This group is expected to grow 4.2% according to an IMF estimate, facilitated by an opening up of their economics and market-friendly reforms. (Source: Bloomberg)

United Kingdom: House Prices Will Face Correction
The nationwide building society has warned the London housing market may face a “natural correction”. On Tuesday, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) said mortgage lending in April hit a six year high of £12.2bn. But at the same time the number of mortgage approvals fell to an eight month low, suggesting fewer people are borrowing more as house prices continue to accelerate. (Source: BBC)

Global: Merchandise Trade Declines Across Most Major Economies in First Quarter of 2014
The OECD announced that exports from both advanced and leading emerging economies slowed sharply in the first three months of this year. According to the Organization, the data confirm fears that global trade had a slow start to 2014 despite forecasts from the World Trade Organization and others of a return to buoyant growth after several dire years. (Source: FinFacts)

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