File - A worker puts handles onto cups at the Portmeirion Factory in Stoke-on-Trent, central England, in this February 16, 2015 photo. REUTERS/Darren Staples
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Manufacturing activity showed scant sign of picking up across Europe and Asia in May as demand stayed stubbornly weak, highlighting the need for central banks to continue supporting growth.Eurozone factory growth was weaker than previously thought last month while Chinese factory activity barely accelerated and South Korean exports sank.Worryingly for the ECB, the region's top two economies struggled. German factory growth slowed to a three-month low and French manufacturing activity, though improving, still contracted.But Spanish manufacturing grew at its fastest rate in over eight years and Italian factory output hit a four-year high.China's central bank has already cut interest rates three times in six months and is widely expected to ease policy further in coming months.South Korea's exports posted their worst annual fall in nearly six years, and a PMI survey showed manufacturing activity shrank for a third straight month.
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