Manufacturers in the U.S., China, and Europe struggled last month as demand fell, suggesting an ailing world economy that still needs a steady diet of central bank support.
Output at U.S. factories declined in May for the first time in six months, the Institute for Supply Management reported, while China's massive manufacturing sector shrank for the first time in seven months, adding to concerns that the world's two largest economies were losing momentum in the second quarter.
Euro zone manufacturing contracted again in May, its 22nd straight month of decline, though the depth of the downturn eased for the first time in four months.
In the U.S., the data bolstered the view that the economy was undergoing yet another spring swoon after expanding at a 2.4 percent rate in the first three months of the year.
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