Broad improvement across core industrial sectors lifted India's exports 12.4% in May, which still wasn't enough to prevent a widening in the nation's trade deficit to a 10-month high. Nonetheless, the export gain "is definitely an encouraging sign," Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher said. "This is the first time in the last six months that we have recorded a double-digit growth."
Easing momentum in China's economy is reflected in a slower pace of lending last month by the four largest state-owned banks, as reported by the 21st Century Business Herald. The lending figures are in line with the HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index for May of 49.2, the lowest reading in eight months.
The trade deficit increased by 8.5% between March and April, to $40.3 billion, as imports accelerated faster than export growth, the Commerce Department says. Americans bought more foreign cars, cellphones and other consumer products, boosting imports by 2.4%. Exports expanded 1.2% amid weak demand.
Australia's economy was 2.5% larger in the first quarter than it was a year before, expanding 0.6% from the fourth quarter. The gain, however, was below expectations and reflected a slowdown in mining investment. "If you scratch below the surface, the economy is actually quite weak. Mining investment has slowed rapidly, but other sectors of the economy are not yet filling the gap," said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital in Sydney.
Asian buyers are among those from around the world rushing into the U.S. real estate market, which saw a 25% jump in global investment in the first four months of 2013 from a year earlier. "This is the tip of the iceberg. You're going to see a lot more capital coming in," said Sonny Kalsi, co-founder of GreenOak Real Estate, which has advised Asian investors on U.S. deals.