Asia factories in doldrums

Factory activity in Asia failed to speed up in May as the region's export-driven businesses struggled for new orders in a slow global economy, surveys released on Wednesday showed.

Output in China, the world's second largest economy, barely improved from a month earlier, while Japan, the third largest, contracted as production was still recovering from earthquakes that struck in April. "The picture is pretty muted in Asia, both in terms of exports and factory activity," said Su Sian Lim, Southeast Asia economist at HSBC.....

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