US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said in a television interview aired on Sunday that the recession could end this year if the banking and financial systems can be stabilized.
"I do think that we will get it stabilized, and we'll see the recession coming to an end probably this year," he told news programme 60 Minutes. "We'll see recovery beginning next year. And it will pick up steam over time."
The decline "will begin to moderate and we'll begin to see leveling off. We won't be back to full employment. But we will see, I hope, the end of these declines that have been so strong in a last couple of quarters," he said.
The biggest risk to recovery remains a lack of political will to attack the problem, Bernanke said in what was the first television interview with a central bank chief in decades.