The country is moving out of the eco­nomic crisis and showing signs of growth in key areas, though crit­ical chal­lenges remain for busi­nesses and con­sumers, said Brian Moynihan, chief exec­u­tive officer of Bank of America, at North­eastern University’s CEO Break­fast forum on Tuesday.

We had a tough eco­nomic decline, but the good news is the United States and Mass­a­chu­setts are recov­ering,” said Moynihan, the forum’s keynote speaker.

Northeastern’s CEO Break­fast forums rec­og­nize leading CEOs who are invited to speak to an audi­ence of other chief exec­u­tive offi­cers and senior exec­u­tives from the Greater Boston area. The pro­gram is rec­og­nized as one of the leading forums in the country.

In his opening remarks, Moynihan hailed Northeastern’s co-​​op pro­gram, which he said has had a strong impact on Amer­ican busi­nesses and blos­somed glob­ally under the lead­er­ship of Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun. Later, Aoun thanked Moynihan and pre­sented him with a globe — rep­re­senting both Moynihan’s status as a “global cit­izen” and Northeastern’s con­tin­uing com­mit­ment to expand its inter­na­tional presence.

Moving on to the finan­cial industry, Moynihan listed sev­eral encour­aging fac­tors, including fewer job­less claims, falling unem­ploy­ment levels and rising con­sumer spending.

The busi­ness sector has been pretty remark­able,” Moynihan added. “We went through the most serious eco­nomic crisis since the Great Depres­sion, and busi­nesses came through it.”

How­ever, Moynihan said busi­nesses remain cau­tious about invest­ments and bor­rowing due to uncer­tainty about con­sumer trends and reg­u­la­tions, while over­seas mar­kets in areas such as Asia and Latin America are becoming more attrac­tive for Amer­ican businesses.

Moynihan added that housing issues and the fore­clo­sure crisis are “the last part of the cycle” that the nation and the banking industry as a whole are working to solve. He said lending insti­tu­tions have col­lec­tively mod­i­fied 4 mil­lion home mort­gages since 2008, including 850,000 at Bank of America. How­ever, he said delin­quent mort­gages con­tinue to be an area of concern.

Bank of America, he said, has taken other steps to soften the blow for con­sumers. These include expanding regional cen­ters nation­wide for cus­tomers to speak face-​​to-​​face with bank rep­re­sen­ta­tives, donating prop­erty to cities in need, and a mort­gage mod­i­fi­ca­tion pro­gram specif­i­cally for U.S. mil­i­tary members.

Moynihan took over as Bank of America’s pres­i­dent and CEO in Jan­uary 2010. Bank of America is one of the world’s largest finan­cial insti­tu­tions, serving indi­vidual con­sumers, small– and middle-​​market busi­nesses and large cor­po­ra­tions with a full range of banking, investing, asset man­age­ment and other finan­cial and risk man­age­ment prod­ucts and services.