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Federal Reserve
Exclusive: Fed's Williams downplays global risks, eyes U.S. inflation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bellwether Federal Reserve policymaker on Tuesday downplayed concerns about weakness in the global economy, saying the U.S. central bank should only delay an interest rate hike next year if inflation or wages fail to perk up. John Williams, president of the San Francisco Fed, said in an interview with Reuters that the first line of defense at the central bank, if needed, would be to telegraph that U.S. rates would stay near zero for longer than mid-2015, when he currently expects them to rise. If the outlook changes "significantly," with inflation showing little sign of returning to the central bank's 2-percent target, he said he would even be open...