President Barack Obama on Wednesday said the United States was witnessing the "beginning of the end" of its worst recession in decades.
Speaking at a townhall-style gathering in Raleigh, North Carolina, Obama sounded optimistic on the state of the US economy but warned that massive job losses were likely to continue for some time.
"We may be seeing the beginning of the end of the recession. But that's little comfort for all the folks who lost their job," Obama said. "We know the tough times aren't over."
The US government is set on Friday to release its first figures for second-quarter economic output. Economists are bracing for a contraction of about 0.7 per cent, which would be much better than a 5.5-per cent drop reported in the first quarter.
Many expect the recession will come to an end some time in the second half of the year. But unemployment, which is currently at 9.5 per cent, could well rise into double digits in the coming months.