Members of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy-setting committee agreed unanimously that a rate cut of half a percentage point to a key lending rate was needed in order to offset the effects of a weakened credit market on the economy's outlook, according to minutes released on Tuesday from the committee's September 18 meeting.

During the meeting, the ten members of the Federal Open Market Committee also said it was not necessary mention that inflationary pressures still needed to be moderated but said it would still monitor indicators closely. It added that future policy actions would depend on "evolving market developments and other factors."

"In order to help forestall some of the adverse effects on the economy that might otherwise arise, all members agreed that a rate cut of 50 basis points at this meeting was the most prudent course of action," the minutes stated. The committee lowered its overnight bank lending rate, known as the funds rate, to 4.75 percent.

In its outlook, the Fed avoided specifically pointing out the balance or risks in the economy, saying it wanted to avoid giving "the mistaken impression that the Committee was more certain about the economic outlook than was in fact the case."