Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein sounded a guardedly optimistic forecast for an economic recovery during the bank's annual meeting on Friday.

My hope is, and my guess is that business feels like it's off it's lowest ebb, Blankfein said, a day after Goldman received a clean bill of health from the U.S. government's banking industry stress tests.

Blankfein also told the assembled shareholders he believed an end to the current crisis was in sight and that investors were now at least talking about an eventual recovery, making the markets cheerier.

Goldman shares rose 2.4 percent, bringing their gains for this year to 62 percent, compared with a 26 percent rise in the Amex Securities Broker Dealer index <.XBD>.

Shareholders in Wall Street's top investment bank, which converted to a bank holding company during last fall's financial crisis to improve access to government funding, reelected all of its directors.

Those voted back included Stephen Friedman, who on Thursday resigned as chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank's board of directors amid questions about his purchases of Goldman stock and potential conflicts of interest.

(Reporting by Joseph Giannone; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)