(WASHINGTON) - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress Wednesday that he sees increasing signs the country's first recession in a decade is coming to an end. He cautioned the rebound this year is likely to be a subdued one.
Greenspan cited a variety of signs of an improving economy in recent months, noting particularly strength in such areas as consumer spending. He said these hopeful signals led Fed policy-makers to call a cease-fire to their aggressive campaign of cutting short-term interest rates..
``In the past several months, increasing signs have emerged that some of the forces that have been restraining the economy over the past year are starting to diminish and that activity is beginning to firm,'' Greenspan told the House Financial Services Committee.
Greenspan, delivering the Fed's semiannual economic forecast to Congress, said the central bank expects the economy this year will grow by between 2.5 percent to 3 percent, when measured from the fourth quarter of last year. That would represent about half the pace of the normal rebound from a recession.