The National Bureau of Statistics of China conducts the official surveys of purchasing managers. The agency's manufacturing index for January was based on a pool of 3,000 respondents, more than triple the previous number. It also plans to expand the sample size for its services survey to about 8,000 companies from 1,200. China's official manufacturing purchasing manager's index edged down to 50.4 from 50.6 in December last month. The official non-manufacturing purchasing manager's index edged up from 56.1 to 56.2.

China's manufacturing sector is showing signs of slowing as the country's rising labor costs reduce the competitiveness of its export sector, which has been a major employer. Indeed, there is a good correlation between the manufacturing PMI's Export Orders index and the Employment index. Both have been mostly under 50 since mid-2011.

Source: Ed Yardeni — Ed Yardeni is the president and chief investment strategist of Yardeni Research Inc., a provider of independent investment strategy and economics research for institutional investors.