Bank of America Corp. chief executive Ken Lewis Thursday said he sees a cause for optimism for the nation's economy, but with a "gut wrenching" next six months and a bottoming out coming in the second half of the year and the full earnings power of the bank only visible in 2011.

"I am optimistic that we're getting close to the bottom and that we'll be seeing signs of recovery," Lewis said in an interview from College Station, Texas, aired on CNBC.

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