Washington, Sep 16 (DPA) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday that the worst US recession in seven decades has "very likely" come to an end, but warned the country's economy will remain weak for some time.
The US central bank head said there was general agreement among economists that the United States would return to growth in the third quarter of this year and continue to pick up in 2010.
But he said any recovery would be slower than in previous economic crises, largely because of the depth of the financial sector's woes.
"The recession is very likely over at this point," Bernanke told the non-partisan Brookings Institution in Washington. "It's still gonna feel like a weak economy for some time."
The slower-than-usual recovery means unemployment will also be slow to fall, Bernanke said. The US jobless rate climbed to 9.7 percent in August, its highest in 26 years.
The United States has been in recession since December 2007, the longest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.