Upswing In China's Economy May Be Temporary04:03
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In this May 30, 2013: Volvo car at an assembly line of a Volvo factory in Chengdu, southwestern China's Sichuan province released by Volvo Cars. (AP Photo/Volvo Cars)
In this May 30, 2013: Volvo car at an assembly line of a Volvo factory in Chengdu, southwestern China's Sichuan province released by Volvo Cars. (AP Photo/Volvo Cars)

Manufacturing in China is at a six-month high, but many economists think this growth could be driven by government policy rather than by real demand.

"Modest growth is what you're seeing," NPR's Shanghai correspondent Frank Langfitt told Here & Now.

Manufacturing exports are down, meaning that the demand is not coming from the U.S. or Europe, but from domestic sources, Langfitt said. And economists are seeing an increase in electricity consumption and rail freight, but that may not last, he said.

"You know, a number of economists here think that a fair bit of this is driven by government policy, not real demand," Langfitt said. "What the government is trying to do — and it’s done this in the past — is try to keep the economy moving. But this is small stuff when you think about the huge challenges that China faces now, economically, in the coming years. And that is kind of what is coming up next."

Guest

This segment aired on September 25, 2013.

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