Regional Federal Reserve banks favored keeping interest rates low in November because of the risk an economic pickup might falter on weakening consumer spending.
Fed banks saw some signs of improvement, including stabilization of industrial output at a low level but felt job losses and declining sales in September of automobiles and new homes hinted at a slowdown in fourth-quarter consumer spending.
Under these circumstances and with inflation and inflation expectations at modest levels, directors agreed that the current accommodative stance of monetary policy remained appropriate, minutes issued by the U.S. central bank said.
At the conclusion of a two-day meeting on November 4, the central bank's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said it was sticking to a commitment to keep borrowing costs near zero for an extended period.
A vote by FOMC members to keep benchmark overnight interest rates in a range of zero to 0.25 percent was unanimous.
Some of the regional Fed directors said they saw little chance that excess capacity in the economy was likely to shrink soon, which meant there was little likelihood of prices climbing sharply.
(Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Neil Stempleman)