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US recession 'longest since WWII'

The US recession lasted 18 months and was the most prolonged since World War II, a report has concluded.

The National Bureau of Economic Research said the recovery began in June 2009, with recession having begun in 2007.

It is a recovery - but it is slower and more painful than most anticipated and now the pressure is on America's central bank to come up with a new plan to try to kickstart the world's largest economy.

The markets will certainly be watching closely to see what the Federal Reserve does at its regular monthly interest rate setting meeting later today.

But with the cost of borrowing already at near zero the tools available to Ben Bernanke and his team are limited.

Michelle Fleury reports from New York.

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