Fed could ditch flawed 'dots' rates forecasts -Fisher

NEW ORLEANS Fri May 9, 2014 12:00pm EDT

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NEW ORLEANS May 9 (Reuters) - There are flaws in the published forecasts of individual Federal Reserve policymakers and the U.S. central bank should consider ditching them altogether, a top Fed policymaker said on Friday.

Zeroing in on the so-called "dot chart" the central bank published quarterly, which show policymakers' expected path of interest rates, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said they are largely the result of guesswork. Also problematic, he said, they reflect the views of policymakers who are coming and going.

"If the dot chart creates confusion, one option would be to dispense with the exercise altogether," said Fisher, a hawkish voter on policy this year. Ever known for evocative speeches, he channeled the children's author Dr. Seuss to say: "So, out, damned dot! Out with the lot! It's clearly time to go."

The dot charts show when each of the Fed's 16 policymakers expect rates to finally rise after more than five years near zero, which according to the March publication was 2015. It also shows how high they think rates will rise by the end of the next few years.

Analysts have keyed in on the dots for insight on overall Fed policy plans, though the charts have at times contradicted the official statement from the Fed's policy-making Federal Open Market Committee.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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