Chinese manufacturing activity fell into contraction in May for the first time since December, data released overnight on Thursday showed.

The big picture: It's the latest major piece of Chinese economic data to sink. Exports fell in April, the country’s retail sales drifted lower, and industrial profits slumped.

Details: The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reading was 49.4, lower than economists polled by Reuters had forecast, and down from last month's reading of 50.1.

  • "Obviously, the investor concern is now shifting from the sustainability of Chinese growth recovery to how fast the economy is slowing," Jian Chang, chief China economist at Barclays Asia Pacific said on CNBC’s "Street Signs."
  • The most recent U.S. tariff hike "clearly played a role in driving down China's orders and demand and also consumer and business sentiment."

What's next: "The Chinese slowdown we’ve seen happening, even before the concerns around trade, has really impacted Europe" where manufacturing PMI growth has been deteriorating for 3 straight months, Emily Roland, Head of Capital Markets Research at John Hancock Investment Management, tells Axios.

  • "I think until you see that turn around I don’t see a major rebound overseas. ... China is the linchpin to all of it."

Go deeper: China has stopped buying U.S. soybeans as trade war rages

Go deeper

Justice Department sues Google over alleged search monopoly

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Justice Department and 11 states Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to illegally monopolize the online search and search advertising markets.

Why it matters: The long-awaited suit is Washington's first major blow against the tech giants that many on both the right and left argue have grown too large and powerful. Still, this is just step one in what could be a lengthy and messy court battle.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 5 million infections.

In photos: Florida breaks record for in-person early voting

Voters wait in line at John F. Kennedy Public Library in Hialeah, Florida on Oct. 19. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images

More Floridians cast early ballots for the 2020 election on Monday than in the first day of in-person early voting in 2016, shattering the previous record by over 50,000 votes, Politico reports.

The big picture: Voters have already cast over 31 million ballots in early voting states as of Tuesday, per the U.S. Elections Project database by Michael McDonald, an elections expert at the University of Florida.

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