GLOBAL ECONOMY-Sluggish factory growth puts central bank stimulus in spotlight

Mon Jun 1, 2015 11:45am EDT
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(Adds U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico data)

* Euro zone manufacturing PMI nudges up to 52.2 in May

* China's official PMI edges up to 50.2

* U.S. factory activity expansion steady

By Jonathan Cable

LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Manufacturing activity showed few signs of picking up across Europe, Asia or the Americas in May as demand stayed stubbornly weak, highlighting the need for central banks to continue supporting economic growth.

The gloomy business surveys come a little less than three months after the European Central Bank embarked on a 1-trillion-euro stimulus programme, and will likely fuel expectations its counterpart in Beijing will have to roll out more aggressive policy measures.

Euro zone factory growth was weaker than previously thought last month, while Chinese factory activity barely accelerated, and U.S. manufacturing activity growth slowed.

A measure of global manufacturing growth showed activity accelerated slightly last month but remained weak as firms around the world focused on existing orders.   Continued...