STRONG SHOWING: Factory output rose 0.4 percent in September, its third straight monthly increase, the Federal Reserve said Monday. Factories made more business equipment such as planes and trucks to meet rising demand.
ADDS TO HOPES: It was the latest report to suggest the economy has improved after its summer slump. Hiring increased modestly last month, and retail sales grew by the most in seven months.
OUTLOOK UNCERTAIN: Economic growth remains sluggish, and many economists expect it to dip further in the next few quarters. The U.S. economy also remains vulnerable to shocks from Europe's debt crisis, they warn.