Manufacturing Drives Global Recovery

US production grows for first time since Jan. '08
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2009 5:56 AM CDT
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said yesterday its manufacturing index rose to 52.9 in August, from 48.9 in July.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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(Newser) – The world may be manufacturing its way out of the global recession, with new figures showing a faster-than-expected recovery from the US to Europe and Asia. The Wall Street Journal reports that American factory output is growing for the first time since January 2008, while separate surveys showed expanded manufacturing activity in China, France, and Australia. But not all the figures are so rosy; economists estimate that US unemployment climbed one-tenth of a percent to 9.5% last month.

Barack Obama said that the manufacturing data showed "the steps we've taken to bring our economy back from the brink are working." It remains unclear just how well the world economy will fare when interest rates rise again and the effects of giant fiscal stimulus packages, notably of the US and China, finally wear off. Still, said one JPMorgan economist, "We had been looking for improvement, but the speed at which it's come and the magnitude with which it has come is surprising."