Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke today said the U.S. central bank will soon launch a new website to explain to the public its policies and lending programs.
In coming days, we will unveil a new website that will bring together in a systematic and comprehensive way the full range of information that the Federal Reserve already makes available, supplemented by explanations, discussions and analyses, Mr. Bernanke said in prepared remarks today before the National Press Club.
Mr. Bernanke also said he has asked Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn to lead a new committee to review the Feds disclosure policy, including explaining the reasons why it cannot disclose certain information.
Separately, the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee released the minutes of its Jan. 27-28 meeting during which the members noted that conditions in some financial markets have improved, while global demand appears to be slowing significantly.
Committee members expected the economy to recover later this year but cautioned that downside risks to that outlook are significant. The Fed will also start releasing its projections for growth, unemployment and inflation for a horizon beyond three years, which it has never done.
At a business event in Rockford, Ill., Chicago Fed President Charles Evans today said in prepared remarks that the U.S. economy will continue to contract, possibly resulting in no gross domestic product growth for 2009.
Im currently projecting that GDP will begin to expand later in 2009, but not enough to offset the declines in the first half of the year, Mr. Evans said. The unemployment rate is likely to rise into 2010.