Maintaining easy policy key test for next Fed chair- Kocherlakota

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. Fri Oct 4, 2013 3:08pm EDT

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. Oct 4 (Reuters) - Whomever President Barack Obama chooses as the next head of the Federal Reserve will face a stern test of leadership to resist pressure to prematurely tighten monetary policy, a senior U.S. central banker said on Friday.

"The real test for us ... (is) going to be about being able to keep a high level of (policy) accommodation in place, even as there (are) a lot of onlookers and observers calling on us to back off," said Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota.

"The leadership being provided by the chair person in that regard will be critical."

Obama is expected in the next few weeks to nominate his choice to succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term ends in January. The White House has said that Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen is the top candidate to take the helm.

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