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Dow soars despite jump in US output

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 92.71 to 6,679.87 in New York last night despite earlier figures showing that industrial output in the US jumped 0.9 per cent last month, taking its annual growth to an impressive 5.6 per cent. Capacity usage in industry rose to 84.1 per cent from 83.6 per cent. The surprise surge was due to a broad-based expansion in manufacturing production, led by computers (output up 2.7 per cent in March), electrical machinery (up 2.0 per cent) and cars (up 1.5 per cent). Manufacturing output as a whole was a whopping 6.7 per cent higher than a year earlier. Analysts said the figures were a clear sign of the economy's strength.