The Federal Reserve on Friday released blank templates showing the format it will use to report Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) participants' projections of the appropriate target benchmark interest rate, which will be provided to the public for the first time on Jan. 25.

Four times a year starting Wednesday, the central bank will offer two charts along with policymakers' projections of the fedral funds rate, according to a statement today in Washington.

The first chart will use shaded bars to show FOMC participants' projections for the timing of the initial increase in the target federal funds rate.

The second chart will use dots to represent participants' individual projections over the next several years and in the longer run. It will show participants' views of how quickly they expect rates to rise once they are no longer in the range of zero to 0.25 percent.

For the past three years, the Fed has left its key short-term rate at a record low level. In August, it said it planned to leave the rate unchanged until at least mid-2013, unless the it sees an improvement in the U.S. economy.

The template for the rate forecasts:

fomcchartstemplates20120120