New figures on industrial production have fuelled belief that Britain may have already emerged from the worst recession in postwar history.

In July, industrial production rose by 0.5%, including a 0.9% rise in manufacturing output, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS warned that monthly growth rates were volatile, but economists said the rise was the strongest for any month since the start of 2008.

'This is a good start to the third quarter [of 2009] and adds to the weight of evidence that suggests the recession is over,' said Alan Clarke, an economist at BNP Paribas.

Financial Times