A pair of Federal Reserve officials said on Monday they expect economic growth in the U.S. to resume by the end of the year.

Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker cited expectations that U.S. consumers would begin spending and that the Federal Reserve’s policies would help the nation recover. Lacker spoke to business leaders in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to Reuters.

While overall activity is still contracting, it now appears as if the pace of contraction is diminishing, and at some point later this year, activity will bottom out and begin expanding again, Lacker said.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Federal Reserve President Thomas Hoenig said it would take “most of the rest of the year” to move out of recession before a slow recovery in 2010, he said at an event in New York.

In a prepared statement he said a challenge for the Fed would be to shrink its balance sheet and tighten policy when the economy begins to recover to prevent rising inflation.

Choosing the right time to withdraw that stimulus will be a challenge, and I believe it will be very important to avoid the risks of waiting too long or moving too slowly, he said.