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MARKETS SURGE AS US EMERGES FROM SLUMP

Markets surged as the US economy emerged from the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression, expanding at an annual rate of 3.5 per cent in the third quarter according to figures released yesterday.<br /><br />The main Dow Jones index closed up 200 points to 9,962.58, while the technology-laced Nasdaq jumped 38 points to 2,097.55. In the UK, the FTSE 100 rose 57 points to 5137.72.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br />The US GDP figure beat analysts&rsquo; expectations of 3.2 per cent annual growth and marks the end of a recession that has seen 7.2m Americans lose their jobs and the Obama administration pump a record $787bn into the world&rsquo;s largest economy. <br /><br />Much of the economic growth in the third quarter was boosted by this fiscal stimulus. Consumer spending rose 3.4 per cent, helped by a 22.3 per cent rise in sales of durable goods and the cash for clunkers scheme.<br /><br />But while the return to growth was welcomed, economists cautioned that as fiscal stimulus measures come to an end and still-rising unemployment continues to hit consumption, the pace of economic growth could slow.