Speaking in an interview with Diane Rehm on WAMU radio, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Department of Treasury Philip Swagel said that recent data suggested the economy was merely experiencing a slowdown rather than an outright recession.

Swagel said the stimulus cheques sent out by the government last week would help support slowing consumer spending, and that although the housing sector in the United States continued to contract, the largest declines had already been felt.

He also said that recent developments in financials showed some improvement, but noted the market still had a ways to go before recovering outright.

By Erik Kevin Franco and edited by Cristina Markham