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U.S. Fed Officials Divided over Rate Cut in July, Minutes Show

U.S. Federal Reserve officials were divided over whether to cut interest rates when they gathered in July, according to the minutes of the Fed's latest monetary policy meeting.

"A couple of participants indicated that they would have preferred a 50 basis point cut in the federal funds rate at this meeting rather than a 25 basis point reduction," said the minutes of the Fed's July 30-31 policy meeting released on Wednesday.

"They favored a stronger action to better address the stubbornly low inflation rates of the past several years," the minutes said.

Meanwhile, "several participants" were in favor of leaving interest rates unchanged at last month's meeting, judging that the real economy "continued to be in a good place", the minutes showed.

Fed officials overall last month voted to trim the target for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent, the first rate cut since the 2008 global financial crisis.

"Most participants viewed a proposed quarter-point policy easing at this meeting as part of a recalibration of the stance of policy, or mid-cycle adjustment, in response to the evolution of the economic outlook over recent months," the minutes said, indicating that the move shouldn't be viewed as part of a "pre-set course" for future cuts.

"Participants generally favored an approach in which policy would be guided by incoming information and its implications for the economic outlook and that avoided any appearance of following a preset course," the minutes said.

At a press conference following last month's meeting, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell had emphasized that the rate cut is "not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts."

(www.chinaview.cn 2019-08-22)