Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the US recession "is very likely over at this point" from a technical perspective but that the economy may remain weak for some time.
Bernanke, speaking at a Washington forum, said the economy is likely to show growth in the third quarter after a slump that began in late 2007.
"Even though from a technical perspective, the recession is very likely over at this point, it's still going to feel like a very weak economy for some time as many people will still find that their job security and their employment status is not what they wish it was," he said.
"So that's a challenge for us and policymakers going forward."
Bernanke was speaking at the Brookings Institution in an economic forum a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a financial panic and deepened the recession.
A year later, Bernanke said that there is "agreement among the forecasting community at this point that we are in a recovery," and that growth is occurring in the third quarter and will continue into 2010.
"But the general view of most forecasters is that the pace of growth in 2010 will be moderate, less than you might expect given the depth of the recession because of ongoing headwinds," he said.