India's manufacturing sector expansion eases in May: PMI

Asia morning update: Month-end markets

IHS Markit and CIPS' latest PMI release for the construction sector - which measures expectations of growth - came in at 56 for the month of May. Any figure above 50 represents expansion.

On Malaysia's performance, IHS Markit said this indicated Malaysia returning to deteriorating business conditions after showing marginal improvements in April.

Friday's report showed housebuilding rising at the fastest rate since December 2015, while commercial construction, such as shops and offices, rose by the most since March previous year.

Despite the lower reading, the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) noted that the manufacturing sector had recorded its ninth straight month of expansion. 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 seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers' Index™ (PMI™) - a composite indicator created to provide a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the manufacturing economy - posted below the neutral 50.0 value at 49.6 in May. Work backlogs have fallen since the beginning of 2017, and purchasing activity has also fallen with inflation down to a five-month low.

In April, the forecast for Ireland's economic growth this year and next was revised upwards, due to a stronger momentum in the domestic economy and an improved outlook for external demand.

Investec Ireland's chief economist Philip O'Sullivan said the economy appeared to be enjoying the benefit of an improving global backdrop, with his bank forecasting the world economy will grow 3.9% next year, its highest growth rate since 2011. Production rose at the slowest pace since June 2016 and coincided with sharp employment cuts, the steepest in eight months, as employers tried to control their costs. Meanwhile, muted inflationary pressure may prompt the Reserve Bank to adopt an accommodative policy stance, the survey said.

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