Empire State manufacturing jumps for the first time since recession began

Here's another sign the U.S. recession is bottoming and a recovery is underway: the Empire State Manufacturing Index soared 13 points to 12.1 in August, its highest level since November 2007, or one month before the recession started, the New York Federal Reserve announced Monday.

Readings above zero indicate manufacturing activity is growing; below zero, contracting. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the Empire State Manufacturing Index to rise to 5.00 in August from -0.55 in July. The index was at -9.41 in June.