Fed to Give Quarterly Reports on Economic Health Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says he will disclose the health of the economy four times a year rather than twice. The reports are intended to give an awareness of interest rates, forecasts and other developments impinging on consumers.
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Fed to Give Quarterly Reports on Economic Health

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that he will disclose the health of the economy four times a year rather than twice.

The reports are intended to give savvy investors and ordinary consumers alike an awareness of interest rates, forecasts and other developments that impinge on them.

The Fed will also give a longer view of the business environment, projecting three years rather than two.

Projections will include the expected pace of economic growth, the anticipated unemployment rate and any notions of inflation.

The change in the Federal Reserve's communications strategy is due to kick off next week when the Fed releases the minutes of policymakers' October meeting.

Improving the public's understanding of the Fed's objectives and strategies reduces uncertainty, allowing businesses and people to make more-informed financial decisions, Bernanke said.

"The changes will provide a more timely insight into the (Fed's) outlook, will help households and businesses better understand and anticipate how our policy decisions respond to incoming information and will enhance our accountability for the decisions we make," the Fed chief said in a speech to a conference on monetary policy at the Cato Institute.

In 2008, the expanded projections will be published in the minutes released after the Fed's meeting on interest rates.

The forecasts will be included in the minutes of the Fed meetings scheduled for January, April, June and October, said Bernanke.

The projections will continue to be described in the Fed's twice a year economic report to Congress, he said.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press