In what can only be described as a remarkably candid assessment, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology overnight claimed that both domestic and external conditions were still 'grim' and that the economy was likely to endure further downward pressure. Companies in China are confronting growing operational difficulties, including much higher prices for energy and substantially higher wages. Interestingly, there has been little response in Asia overnight to this report, with equities becalmed ahead of tonight's FOMC decision and Friday's BoJ meeting. In foreign exchange markets, even the Aussie ignored the warning, which is unusual because it is invariably extremely sensitive to changes in China's economic outlook. Instead, it appears that more attention was paid to Premier Wen Jiabao's promise to stimulate the economy through additional policy measures if required. More stimulus from Beijing cannot be far away because it is clear that the economy needs it to achieve the growth targets set by policy-makers.