Recession is officially over, according to thinktank

Economists declared the recession over today as official data showed mothballed factories springing back to life and rising optimism in the City stoked a new merger spree. The FTSE 100 index of blue-chip stocks pushed close to the 5,000 mark for the first time since the aftermath of Lehman Brothers’s collapse 12 months ago, prompting the second multibillion pound deal of the week. Meanwhile, government figures showed that Britain’s hard-pressed manufacturers had cranked up production for a second successive month in August after running down stocks dramatically in the early months of the year.The National Institute for Economic and Social Research thinktank (NIESR) calculated that the recession is likely to have ended in May. As consumers are buoyed by stabilising house prices and return to the shops, many analysts agree the economy should now record positive growth in the third quarter of the year – the official definition of the end of recession.