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HEADLINE:   Overseas Headlines: June 15, 2012

· (Highlighted Story) Industrial production in the U.S. fell in May as output at factories, mines and utilities decreased 0.1% after a revised 1% gain in April. The decline was driven by lower production of vehicles and consumer goods. Manufacturing, which accounts for approximately 75% of total production, fell 0.4% last month. The Federal Reserve release showed motor vehicle and parts production had dropped 1.5% in May after a 4% surge the month prior while production of consumer goods declined 0.2% after gaining 1.4% in April.
Recessions in parts of Europe and a slowdown in Asia has tempered the outlook for growth in the global economy and is the likely driver of the falloff in industrial output as producers forecast a decline in demand for their goods. Job creation at factories have slowed as well with weekly hours worked by manufacturing employees sliding to 40.5 in May, the lowest in six months, according to Labor Department data.

· Britain’s goods trade deficit unexpectedly widened in April as exports plunged, raising the concerns of a third quarter of economic contraction. The Office for National Statistics said today that the goods trade deficit grew to 10.1 billion pounds (US$15.70 billion) - the second-largest gap since records began in January 1998 which compares to a deficit of 8.7 billion pounds in March and exceeds forecasts for a reading of 8.5 billion pounds. There was a record gap in goods trade with the European Union, which absorbs the majority of Britain’s goods exports, as exports fell 6.5%, outweighing a 2.3% fall in imports from the EU. The goods trade deficit with non-EU countries widened to 5.2 billion pounds in April from 4.2 billion pounds in March.

· Greek voters will return to the polling station on June 17 for the second time in six weeks after the May 6 elections failed to yield a government as no party was able to garner the necessary majority. The vote is of great significance as it may determine fate of the world’s first democracy and the future of the Eurozone. Syriza, the party that promises to renege on Greece’s end of the bailout deal and New Democracy, which is in favour of the rescue, were even in final opinion polls.  World leaders have said they would prefer Greece to remain in the euro zone as long as Greece commits to the terms of the bailout as an exit would roil financial markets around the world.

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