The release of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) March 31-April 30 minutes show seven district banks had voted for no change in the discount rate in an effort to slow inflation.

The Boston Fed was the lone bank to vote for a half-point cut in the discount rate. Four banks had requested a 25bp cut to the Fed funds rate as they expressed concern about the near-term prospects for economic activity.

"Several directors noted that significant downside risks to economic growth remained, including the potential for a further weakening of labor markets and possibility that the contraction in the housing sector would be deeper and more prolonged than currently expected," the FOMC minutes noted.

Seven Federal Reserve Bank directors were in favor of maintaining existing credit rates unchanged as concerns about inflation take hold, as well as taking into account "the significant lag before the full effects of past monetary policy easing would be realized."

On April 30, the FOMC cut the target for the Fed funds rate by 25 bps to 2.00%. Richard Fisher of the Dallas Fed and Charles Plosser of the Philadelphia Fed both dissented in favour of no change. Other members of the committee were also reluctant to ease monetary policy, the minutes showed.

By Steve Stecyk and edited by Nancy Girgis