Two top Fed officials are split on their outlook for the economy, with The Atlanta Fed chief saying he expects and end to the recession in months while the San Francisco Fed president saying she does not yet see a bottom.

Federal Reserve President of the Atlanta Fed said Thursday he expects the current recession to end by the middle of the year, with growth coming in the following months.

“Today, the economy is still very weak, but there are some encouraging signs that support cautious optimism,” he said in a speech at the Levy Economics conference in New York, according to Reuters.

I do not expect a strong recovery, but I do expect the economic contraction we're now experiencing to give way to slow and tentative growth as early as the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Janet Yellen, President of the San Francisco Fed, acknowledged positive signs but would not indicate when the recession would end.

The negative dynamics between the real and financial sides of the economy have created severe downside risks, Yellen said. The Fed’s policies had created a few welcome signs of stability,” but added that financial markets were highly stressed, preventing a recovery.

While we've seen some tentative signs of improvement in the economic data very recently, it's still impossible to know how deep the contraction will ultimately be.