Some officials wanted to raise rates at the last Fed meeting

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Some Federal Reserve officials pushed for the US central bank to raise its main interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point at its meeting last month to step up its actions against strong inflation, though the Fed ultimately decided against raising it.

In a sign of growing division among Fed policymakers, some officials favored a quarter-point increase or said they "would have supported such a proposal," according to the minutes of the 13 meeting. and June 14 and that were released on Wednesday. In the end, the 11 Fed members who can vote on rates unanimously agreed not to raise them this time, after 10 consecutive increases. But they did say they could raise rates a couple more times this year, starting as early as this month.

The minutes show evidence that support for another rate increase is supported by only a minority. The Fed's committee of 18 policymakers votes on a rotating basis.

Although last month's vote to keep rates unchanged was unanimous, it is relatively rare for the central bank to state in its meeting minutes that some officials disagreed with the committee's decision.

Twelve of the 18 rate-setting committee members projected at least two more rate increases this year, according to member projections released last month. Four anticipated a further increase. Only two officials planned to keep rates unchanged.

Officials who had favored a rate hike last month said "there were few clear signs that inflation was on track to pull back" to the Fed's 2% near-term target. The decision to forgo a hike left the Fed's key rate at around 5.1%, the highest level in 16 years.

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