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Fed's Harker says important to talk about tapering sooner rather than later

May 21 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve officials should start talking about the best way to reduce their asset purchases "sooner rather than later," Philadelphia Fed Bank President Patrick Harker said on Friday.

The U.S. central bank will communicate its plans for slowing its purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities well in advance and it would move at a methodical pace so that investors are not surprised, Harker said during a virtual conversation organized by the Washington Post. (Reporting by Jonnelle Marte,Editing by Franklin Paul)