(Updates with CBS statement, background, details)
WASHINGTON Dec 2 (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will appear on the news program "60 minutes" on Sunday, part of an effort by the central bank to step up its public communications.
The move comes as the Fed's decision last month to purchase an additional $600 billion caused a flurry of criticism from politicians in Washington, who argue the central bank is playing with fire and courting future inflation.
The CBS television network said Bernanke would discuss "pressing economic issues, including the unemployment rate, the deficit and the Fed's controversial $600 billion U.S. Treasury bill purchase."
The "60 minutes" program is scheduled for 7 p.m. (2200 GMT)
The last time Bernanke appeared on 60 Minutes was in March 2009, just as the worst phase of the global financial crisis was beginning to subside. The stock market began to rebound that month while the economy started to recover in the summer from its worst recession since the Great Depression.