Google Inc Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said on Wednesday that the worst of the advertising recession was over, and pointed to signs of a recovery in both Europe and the United States.

Speaking to a group of reporters in New York, Schmidt said that Google, the largest U.S. Internet search engine, had increased its hiring and investment in anticipation of a recovery.

The worst is behind us, he said. We're clearly seeing aspects of recovery, not just in the U.S. but also Europe.

Google first started to see signs of a recovery in May and June, Schmidt said, following a period in which the slump in advertising spending undercut the company's revenue growth and the price of its search ads.

Shares of Google, which is due to report its third-quarter earnings next week, rose 1.2 percent to $504.78 in midday trading.

(Reporting by Anupreeta Das, editing by Paul Thomasch and Lisa Von Ahn)