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Policymaker Questions Fed Language: WSJ

A U.S. Federal Reserve policymaker is questioning the way the Fed describes risks to the economy in its public statements, The Wall Street Journal Online reported on Monday.

Charles Plosser, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, told the Journal that the Fed's practice of publicly assessing the "balance of risks" between growth and inflation may convey too much confidence about where it thinks interest rates are headed.

Plosser's comments suggest policymakers are grappling with how they communicate after four tumultuous months in which markets have often struggled to discern the Fed's message, the Journal's Greg Ip wrote.

"I would like us to be more explicit about how the evolution of the economy impacts our decisions, rather than signaling the path of the funds rate," Plosser, who is not currently a voting member of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, was quoted as saying.

A spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Fed was not immediately available for comment.

Plosser told the Journal that recent data on consumer and wholesale prices suggested inflation is becoming "more broad based," but that he was careful not to infer too much about the direction of inflation from one month's numbers.

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