Federal Reserve officials have created confusion with conflicting statements about the central bank's plans for raising interest rates, one of the Fed's top officials said Thursday.

"We probably haven't been doing that well" in communicating, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said Thursday morning at an event to discuss monetary policy.

Dudley said members of the Fed have disagreed publicly in recent days about the timing of the Fed's planned first rate hike since 2008 because of underlying disagreements about the health of the economy.

"That disagreement about will the economy be strong enough is a realistic one," Dudley said.

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"It's reasonable that slight differences in the forecast are going to lead to different views" about when to raise rates, he said.

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