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Chinese manufacturing growth slows in January

New orders rise, while exports decline.

The Chinese official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) measuring the performance of the manufacturing industry was at 50.4 in January 2013, down from 50.6 in December.

A PMI reading of above 50 indicates that the industry is expanding.

Economists had anticipated a strong performance from China in January as the country’s economy rebounded well in the fourth quarter of 2012. However, the marginal growth in PMI has disappointed markets.

Ding Shuang, an economist with Citi, told the Financial Times: “In general, we think the rebound is on track but the rebound seems to be quite modest.”

Meanwhile, the country’s main stock index, Shanghai Composite, declined 0.5 per cent in January after a growth of 20 per cent since November 2012.

New orders increased in January to 51.6 from 51.2 in December, due to a surge in domestic demand, while exports declined to 48.5 from 50 in December, primarily due to sluggish external demand.

In January 2013, the output index dipped to 51.3 from 52 in December, while the employment index fell to 47.8 from 49.

Lu Ting, an economist with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told the Financial Times: “The PMI is a quite inaccurate barometer around the Chinese New Year holiday. We believe the Chinese economy and its related asset markets will remain in a sweet spot in the near term.”

A separate PMI published by HSBC showed that the country’s manufacturing sector had climbed to 52.3 in January 2013, compared to 51.5 in December.

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We're hiring! Join the New Statesman as an editorial assistant

The NS is looking for a new recruit.

The New Statesman is hiring an editorial assistant, who will work across the website and magazine to help the office run smoothly. The ideal candidate will have excellent language skills, a passion for journalism, and the ability to work quickly and confidently under pressure.

The job is a broad one – you will need to understand the requirements of both halves of the magazine (politics and culture) as well as having an interest in the technical requirements of magazine and website production. Experience with podcasts and social media would be helpful.

The right person will have omnivorous reading habits and the ability to assimilate new topics at speed. You will be expected to help out with administration tasks around the office, so you must be willing to take direction and get involved with unglamorous tasks. There will be opportunities to write, but this will not form the main part of the job. (Our current editorial assistant is now moving on to a writing post.)

This is a full-time paid job, which would suit a recent graduate or someone who is looking for an entry into journalism. On the job training and help with career development will be offered.

Please apply with an email to Stephen Bush (Stephen. Bush @ with the subject line ‘Editorial Assistant application’.  

In your covering letter, please include a 300-word analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the New Statesman. Please also include 500 words on what you consider to be the most interesting trend in British politics, and your CV as a Word document. 

The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 12th October.