The Federal Reserve previewed its new practice of announcing policymakers' interest rates projections on Friday, issuing a table that showed analysts may be able to guess where the policy consensus lies.

One blank chart, which extends out to 2016, will show the distribution of expectations for the first policy tightening following years of near-zero interest rates.

Another panel, which will show forecasts for the benchmark federal funds rate over time, could give observers the chance to see where individual officials' forecasts lie, although the estimates will not be linked to particular names.

Some analysts thought they might be privy only to the range of forecasts, not the distribution of forecasts along that range. When the Fed has released its economic forecasts in the past, the public has had to wait for the release of meeting minutes three weeks later to get that level of clarity.

The Fed recently announced its decision to publish official forecasts for rates, in addition to the projections for employment, inflation and growth that they already release quarterly.

The template for the rate forecasts is posted on the Fed's website at:

(Reporting By Pedro da Costa and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Neil Stempleman)