Irish manufacturing growth rises to 22-month high, PMI shows

It's the 10th straight month of expansion for the sprawling manufacturing sector, which is a major part of China's wider economy and employs many millions of workers.

Chen Zhongtao, an analyst at the China Logistics Information Center, said positive factors had grown for the Chinese economy, including balanced supply and demand, better performance of companies and a good job market.

The Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers' index rose to 56 from 53.1, its highest level since December 2015.

Although South Korea's (EWY) manufacturing activity increased in April 2017, its pace of growth slowed amid tensions with its important trading partner, China (FXI). Most other eurozone countries also posted growth, aside from Greece who saw yet another contraction as it struggles to deal with further austerity measures.

The official non-manufacturing PMI, a gauge for the service sector, rose to 54.5 percent from 54 percent in April.

The upbeat tone contrasts with gloomy official figures for the first three months of the year, when factory output inched up by just 0.3 percent.

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Smith cited lower new export work as a factor behind the decline in total new business.

There was further solid growth in new orders and production during the month with solid expansion in export orders, although with some disappointment over the growth rate.

That indicates that after declining mildly last month, activity levels improved sharply during May, led by a surge in domestic orders.

The upbeat survey will provide some support to those commentators that believe a strong manufacturing sector can offset some of the economic pain from a consumer spending slowdown this year. "Meanwhile, inflationary pressures continued to ease".

The subindex measuring new orders stood at 52.3 in May, the same as the previous month, the federation said.

Mr. Zhong also said the subindexes for input costs and output prices dropped into contractionary territory for the first time since June 2016 and February 2016, respectively.

  • Darren Santiago