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Fed minutes say 11 voted to hold rate

January 10, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Directors at 11 of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks voted to leave the discount lending rate unchanged ahead of the central banks December policy meeting, the same as the previous session in October.

"Directors agreed that the current stance of monetary policy continued to be appropriate for now, based in part on a general expectation of moderate economic growth and slowly declining core inflation," according to minutes of Fed meetings in November and December that were released Tuesday in Washington.

The Federal Open Market Committee on Dec. 12 left its target for the benchmark overnight lending rate unchanged at 5.25% for a fourth time. Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said Monday that it was "still too early" for the central bank to relax its guard on inflation.

Richmond Fed directors asked for a quarter-point increase in the discount rate, to 6.5%, for the fourth straight period, reflecting the stance of the bank's president, Jeffrey Lacker, who alone voted to raise the federal funds rate at the last four meetings.

The bank directors' votes occurred from Nov. 30 to Dec. 7. The FOMC next meets to set rates on Jan. 30-31.

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