US industrial output figures, including manufacturing, utilities and mining, registered a better than expected 0.5 per cent rise in July, fuelling speculation that the recession is over and growth will now ensue.
The rise follows a 0.4 per cent decline in June. Analysts had expected growth of just 0.3 per cent.
The Federal Reserve revealed the first rise in production for nine months was led by a long awaited resurgence in automotive output which was up 20.1 per cent following three straight months of decline.
Manufacturing output on its own was up one per cent.
As well as production of vehicles and parts, the aerospace equipment, computers and electronic products, and plastics industries also performed well in July.
But total industrial production is still down 13.1 percent on levels this time a year ago though and manufacturing on its own is down 15 per cent. And the Federal Reserve warned that despite the green shoots of recovery, “economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time.”