U.S. Federal Reserve launches Facebook page

August 18, 2016 10:06 AM EDT

The Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington September 16 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve said it was launching a Facebook page on Thursday, part of an effort to reach out directly to a general public.

Facebook users will now have a chance to "like" the Fed on the social media site, although the central bank's standing as measured by public opinion polls has taken a hit since the 2007-09 recession.

Many economists believe the Fed played a critical role in guiding America out of the recession as other authorities in Washington appeared hamstrung by political gridlock.

But in 2014, Gallup found 38 percent of Americans polled considered that the Federal Reserve Board was doing an excellent or good job, while 14 percent said it was performing poorly. That gave the Fed a net-positive rating of 24 percentage points, about half its level in 2003.

The Fed said in a statement the Facebook page had "the aim of increasing the accessibility and availability of Federal Reserve Board news and educational content."

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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