China factory activity held steady in May, index shows

China factory activity held steady in May, index shows

China factory activity held steady in May, index shows

The headline Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped below the 50 point-threshold to 48.7 points in May, from 50.7 in the previous month.

As the bloc's economic performance improves, the European Central Bank is likely to signal a move away from its ultra-easy monetary policy by September, economists in a Reuters poll forecast last month. New order levels increased again in May, but the rate of expansion was the least marked recorded since September 2016, mainly due to subdued client demand.

Analysts are also hopeful that the continued strength of Britain's manufacturing sector will lead to a more robust second quarter GDP reading, after United Kingdom growth stumbled to 0.2% at the start of the year, making it the slowest growing G7 economy in the first quarter.

On the price front, Aw said greater costs prompted firms to raise charges further to protect their margins.

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The UK construction sector expanded at the fastest pace in 17 months in May as low interest rate and strong labor markets underpinned residential building activity.

"The forward-looking elements of the latest survey are reassuring for the construction sector, notably the acceleration in new business growth to its strongest so far this year". There was also further evidence that the pound's weakness was helping exports by making United Kingdom goods cheaper for overseas buyers. It reached 58.3, its highest in more than six years high, up from April's 57.9. Notably, it was the quickest decline in workforce numbers seen since last September.

Goods producers however maintained positive expectations towards output in 12 months' time, although the degree of optimism was relatively subdued. A number of panellists mentioned that weaker than expected sales had weighed on input buying. A number of panellists blamed longer lead times on stock shortages at vendors.

The rate of reduction was marginal overall, and widely linked by respondents to lower raw material prices.

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