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.
Federal 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.
Treasury 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."
The 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 again.
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.
The government 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.