The chief of the U.S. central bank says the recession "is very likely
over" but warned it will take time for many Americans to feel relief.
Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday economic data indicates the
U.S. economy is growing again and will continue to grow into next year.
However, he agreed with economic forecasts which say despite
that growth, the economy will not produce many new jobs and that the
unemployment rate will remain high for some time.
Bernanke's view of the economy contrasts with that of another prominent U.S. official.
Secretary Timothy Geithner told ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday
that the administration will not be satisfied that the recession is
over until unemployed Americans are again able to find work.
Geithner said "we are not at the point where we can say that yet."
U.S. unemployment rate hit a 26-year-high of 9.7 percent in August, and
some economists say it could surpass 10 percent before coming down
Geithner also said the government is working to withdraw
its investments in the financial and auto industries although the
process will take some time.
Media reports from Bloomberg news
and The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday that the government has begun
discussions about selling its stake in Citigroup.
gave Citigroup $45 billion in emergency loans and got about 7.7 million
shares in the company in return. Since then, the value of those shares
has increased about $9.8 billion.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.