China's manufacturing sector stays stable

Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP | Getty Images

British construction activity grew at its fastest rate since the end of 2015 last month, as a pick-up in housebuilding helped builders shake off a lacklustre start to the year, a survey showed on Friday.

Markit said a sharp and accelerated rise in residential work was a key factor in supporting overall construction activity in May, while growth in the housing sector recovered after slumping to a seven-month low in March.

The Indian manufacturing sector, however, stayed in expansion mode for the fifth consecutive month in May.

The survey's forward-looking measures suggested that the manufacturing sector could maintain its relatively solid pace of expansion.

Meanwhile, China's official services PMI rose to 54.5 in May from 54.0 in April. The rate of increase in output prices moderated to a 5-month low, but was still very high in historic terms.

"The latest survey also revealed a sustained recovery in new work, following the soft patch seen during the first quarter of 2017".

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Nearly all economists expect inflation pressures on consumers to intensify later this year, but the silver lining of a weak currency - more competitive exports - is proving elusive.

The final Markit manufacturing PMI eased to 52.70 in May, compared to a reading of 52.80 in April.

That was less than economists' forecast of 50.1 and extends a streak of declines to three months.

Factory job creation was especially strong, with the index rising to 56.2, the highest since May 1998, from 55.6 a month earlier. The components include new orders-which weigh the most at 30 percent of the index; output, at 25 percent of the index; employment, at 20 percent; suppliers' delivery times, 15 percent; and stocks of purchases, comprising the other 10 percent.

The seasonally-adjusted headline NEVI PMI stood at 57.6, in May, just off April's 57.8. The positive steer for output expectations was reinforced by a further increase in outstanding orders, which rose to a six-year high.

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