A worker installs rubber onto the windows of the doors along a production line at a truck factory of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd (JAC Motors) in Hefei, Anhui province May 5, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
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Factories across Europe and much of Asia posted another month of solid growth in March, rounding off a strong quarter for manufacturers, even though exporters fear a rise in U.S. protectionism could snuff out a global trade recovery. China led the way, with an official manufacturing index expanding at the fastest pace in nearly five years.Sterling's tumble following June's vote to leave the European Union helped manufacturers enjoy their fastest annual growth in three years during the final quarter of 2016 but the sector's PMI suggested growth slowed in the first three months of this year.China has strong domestic demand to fall back on, at least for now, but other export-reliant Asian economies are more vulnerable if Trump goes on a trade offensive.On a more upbeat note, India's manufacturing activity grew at the fastest pace in five months as output and new orders accelerated.
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