Fed to clarify rate hikes as time nears: Williams

SAN FRANCISCO Thu May 22, 2014 6:05pm EDT

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SAN FRANCISCO May 22 (Reuters) - San Francisco Fed President John Williams told reporters on Thursday that the U.S. central bank will drop "hints," both directionally and qualitatively, about the timing and pace of rate hikes as the time for tightening nears.

The Federal Reserve will not, however, revert to date-based guidance, or guidances based on specific economic thresholds, Williams said.

"As we get closer to be in a position where we think it's time to raise interest rates, there will be hints of that and discussion of that in people's speeches, and you will definitely see that, I think, presumably, in the economic projection of (Fed policy-setting committee) participants," Williams said after speaking to the Association of Trade and Forfaiting in the Americas.

"As you get closer, hopefully we'll be better able to communicate what our thinking is about the appropriate time and pace of liftoff."

Williams also said he has no personal preference on whether the Fed ends its quantitative easing program in October or in December. (Reporting by Ann Saphir)

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