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FED GROUP DISAGREES ON RATE HIKE

February's vote by Federal Reserve policymakers to raise interest rates one-half percentage point was unanimous, although some said it might be better to wait and see if the economy was cooling.

A summary of the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting that concluded Feb. 1 revealed at least some mild disagreement. The heavily edited minutes, released Friday, did not identify who might have favored postponing the rate increase.

"A few preferred to delay such an action pending the receipt within the next few weeks of significant new information that could help the committee to evaluate whether and to what extent the economic expansion might be slowing," the minutes said.

"Most of the members were convinced, however, that current monetary policy should be adjusted promptly to a more clearly restrictive stance," the summary said.

The Fed raised a key short-term interest rate to 6 percent at the Feb. 1 meeting, the seventh in a series of moves since a year earlier when the rate stood at 3 percent. The Fed's goal has been to slow the fast-growing economy enough to contain inflation without triggering a recession.

The minutes reflect the uncertainty that could face the Fed in upcoming months.

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