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What does "Granted" mean in the following sentence?

"Granted, unusually bad weather reportedly knocked the manufacturing and construction sectors, so the economy may end the quarter on a stronger note."

--------What does "Granted" mean?

--------Can I say "strucked hard" instead of "knocked" ?

--------What does "on a stronger note" mean?
When/ how do you use it?

Additional Details:

OH NO----------"struck******** hard"

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    "Granted" means "it's a give that..." or "it's obvious that...". You use it to give a fact that we should all obviously know, usually leading up to other information.

    Granted, the world economy is not very good right now, but... it is improving.

    You corrected yourself on "struck hard". :) The only complicated thing is that the words "struck" and "hard" will be separated. "...reportedly struck the manufacturing and construction sectors hard..."

    "On a stronger note" means something improved or got higher or better.

    "...so the economy may end the quarter on a stronger note."
    =
    "... so the economy may be improving (may be getting better) at the end of the quarter."

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