Washington – US central bankers are sharply divided over whether to increase interest rates again this year amid persistently weak inflation, but many still favor a hike, meeting minutes released Wednesday showed.

The Federal Open Committee, the Fed panel which sets US monetary policy, has twice raised rates so far in 2017 despite the fact that inflation has remained tame in the face of steady job creation and falling unemployment.

At that meeting, the Fed left rates untouched at their current range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent and forecast one final rate hike in 2017 as well as three more in 2018.

Those concerned about the looming danger of inflation believed raising rates at “an unduly slow pace” could cause price pressures to overshoot the central bank’s two percent target.

© AFP Observers widely expect that if the Fed chooses to adopt a third rate hike in 2017, it will do so at its final meeting of the year in December

© AFP – Observers widely expect that if the Fed chooses to adopt a third rate hike in 2017, it will do so at its final meeting of the year in December