Italy's manufacturing sector grew at the slowest pace for a year-and-a-half in May, a survey showed on Wednesday, with business hit by material shortages and weak client demand.

The S&P Global Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for Italian manufacturing came in at 51.9, down from 54.5 in April but still above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction - the 23rd straight month of expansion.

The May index level fell short of a median forecast of 53.5 in a Reuters survey of 15 analysts.

The new orders sub-index dropped to 47.4 from 52.5, the first sub-50 reading since November 2020.

The knock-on effect of the Ukraine conflict has hit the economic prospects of countries throughout the euro zone.

On Tuesday, statistics bureau ISTAT said Italy's economy grew 0.1% in the first quarter from the previous three months, revising up a preliminary estimate for a 0.2% contraction. (Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Gavin Jones and Catherine Evans)