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Global factory growth lost momentum in March -PMI

LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - Global manufacturing growth lost momentum last month as new orders came in at a slower pace but factories increased staffing to meet the continued expansion, a business survey showed on Tuesday.

JPMorgan's Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped to 52.4 in March from 53.2. It held above the 50 mark that indicates growth for the 16th month.

"Although growth is cooling from the highs reached at the end of last year, the picture remains one of continued expansion, suggesting manufacturing will remain a contributor to both global economic growth and job creation," said David Hensley, a director at JPMorgan.

A sub-index measuring employment rose to 51.5 from 51.3. The new orders sub-index sank to 53.2 from 54.6.

(Reporting by Jonathan Cable Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)