South Africa: Mining Strikes Shrink South Africa’s Economy
Ongoing strikes over pay and working conditions in the mining industry are dragging down output and GDP in South Africa. (Source: CNBC)

Japan: Japan Retail Sales Fall After Tax Increase
Retail sales in Japan fell an annual 4.4% in April, as the effect of an increase in the country’s sales tax began to be perceived by consumers. (Source: BBC News)

United Kingdom: Bank of England Policymaker: Rise in Interest Rates ‘Sooner Rather Than Later’
The chances of an increase in the Bank Rate before the end of 2014 moved a significant step closer on Wednesday night when one of the Bank of England’s key policymakers said a rise in the cost of borrowing should happen “sooner rather than later”. (Source: The Guardian)

United States: U.S. Growth Prospects Improve on the Back of Factory and Confidence Data
Recent data point to positive growth prospects for the United States and indicate that the economy might bounce back from the impact of a harsh winter. Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods and consumer confidence rose in April and May, respectively. Moreover, home prices further rose in March and the services industries recorded significant growth in May. (Source: Reuters)

India: Can India’s New Finance Minister Deliver?
India’s newly appointed Finance Minister, Arjun Jaitley, who is a prominent corporate lawyer and former commerce minister, is said to be a close confidante of Modi and is expected to push for a reform agenda. However, some investors fear that Arjun Jaitley does not have a background in economics. (Source: CNBC)

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