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Fed's Kaplan says he's watching to see if weakness intensifies

Nichola Saminather

TORONTO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said Wednesday he is focused on assessing whether weakness in manufacturing, sparked by escalating trade tensions, spreads to the biggest and strongest part of the U.S. economy, consumer spending.

Kaplan, speaking in Toronto, said he was watching to see if the weakness intensifies, and whether consumers then begin to think whether they need to be more careful. He added that risks are to the downside, and he has been revising down his forecasts. "If the Fed and policy makers waited to see that weakness in the consumer, thats probably too late." (Writing by Ann Saphir in San Francisco Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)