Directors at the Federal Reserve’s district banks last month said the U.S. economy was expanding “moderately” due partly to a recovery in housing, while warning of risks to growth.
“Many directors noted improvements in the housing sector and business investment,” according to minutes released Tuesday in Washington summarizing the discussions. “Overall, directors continued to see downside risks to the outlook.”
The minutes summarize discussions among board members at the 12 regional reserve banks as they consider whether the Fed should alter the discount rate that it charges on emergency lending. The discussions were considered by the Fed’s Washington-based Board of Governors at meetings on Feb. 11, March 4 and March 18. The board made no change to the discount rate.
The “directors said the economy was growing moderately,” according to the minutes. “Inflation was generally seen as subdued, and longer-term inflation expectations were stable.”
Directors at the Kansas City Fed last month repeated a request for a quarter-point increase in the discount rate to 1 percent. The other 11 banks voted not to change the discount rate, which has been at 0.75 percent since February 2010.
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