April 17, 2018 / 6:09 PM / 3 months ago

Three Fed policymakers backed holding discount rate steady: minutes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three out of 12 regional Federal Reserve banks opposed increasing the rate commercial banks pay for emergency loans ahead of the central bank’s latest policy meeting, minutes of Fed discount rate discussions showed on Tuesday.

The U.S. central bank raised the discount rate by a quarter percentage point to 2-1/4 percent and also increased its benchmark lending rate at its March 20-21 meeting.

The directors at the Federal Reserve banks of Chicago, Minneapolis and Atlanta voted on March 8 to keep the discount rate steady, saying economic data was not strong enough to warrant a change in policy, according to the minutes released on Tuesday.

However, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic later voted in favor of raising the rate on March 15, according to the minutes. Bostic also voted to raise the Fed’s benchmark policy rate at the March 20-21 meeting.

The Fed’s regional bank presidents take turns voting on monetary policy and the heads of the Chicago and Minneapolis Fed banks do not have a vote this year.

Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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