(Refiles to add dropped word 'recession' in last line)
NEW YORK May 21 (Reuters) - The New York Federal Reserve said it bought $7.398 billion of Treasuries maturing Sept 2013 to February 2016 on Thursday.
Dealers submitted $45.694 billion of bids for consideration in the purchase, the third this week.
Thursday's purchase was slightly higher than the $7.025 billion at a similar auction held on April 27.
Since late March, the U.S. central bank has purchased almost $123 billion in U.S. government debt, part of a $300 billion six-month program it intends to hold down long-term borrowing costs to help end the recession. (Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by James Dalgleish)