GDP for Australia grew 0.7 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter — the 21st consecutive quarter of growth — and increased 7.3 percent on Q1 2005. “North Queensland was hit by a category five cyclone in late March,” said the Australian Bureau of Statistics in its GDP report. “Northwest Western Australia was impacted by two cyclones. There was a negative effect on crude oil production and an interruption to exports of mining production. These were evident in Q1 national accounts and balance of payments estimates and are likely to affect Q2 as well.”

Both Korea and India raised their interest rates 25 basis points to 4.25 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively.

Australia’s May unemployment rate was 4.9 percent, a 0.2 percent decrease from both the previous month and May 2005. The Bureau of Statistics determined that May labor estimates had not been affected by the cyclone.

Hong Kong’s March-May jobless rate was 4.9 percent, 0.2 percent lower than the previous 3-month period and 0.8 percent lower than the same period in 2005.

The Central Bank of Turkey raised its rates twice in June to help offset rising inflation and global market volatility. The bank first raised its overnight borrowing rate 1.75 percent to 15 percent and then hiked the rate 2.25 percent to 17.25 percent.

The Bank of Thailand raised its 14-day repurchase rate 0.25 percent to 5 percent in early June.