Beijing issued a statement after last week’s four-day Central Committee meeting with the usual John McCain-like reassurances that the overall economy is in fine form and the financial sector is stable. But, just to be sure, along with seeking to double the income of farmers within the next 12 years, President Hu promised to “step up efforts to boost domestic demand, particularly domestic consumption.” China’s carmakers were probably standing in the Great Hall’s first row, clapping the loudest. Sales of passenger vehicles fell 1.4% in September year-on-year, the second straight month of declines after more than three years of constant growth. China’s battered milk companies could also use some encouragement as, needless to say, the melamine scandal has had an impact on sales. The latest government tests found that liquid dairy products have all met new restrictions on melamine levels (good to hear the melamine levels in my Mengniu are at least being restricted now). For unrestricted levels of poison in your beverage, you’re going to have to head to rural Guangxi region where 450 people are sick, four from arsenic poisoning, after a typhoon last month caused waste water from a metals factory to overflow into neighboring water sources. Those afflicted can take heart in the Party’s 12-year timetable – sure your vision may be blurred and face swollen, but hang in there and soon you can spend your troubles away.