"Several" US Federal Reserve policymakers in March viewed a June increase in interest rates as likely, but there was broad disagreement on the timing, a Fed report has said.

Others at the meeting judged that the economic conditions and outlook would be favourable for a rate hike later in the year, while "a couple" said it would not be right until 2016, according to the meeting's minutes.

But even those less certain about the June timing felt the economy had improved enough for the Fed to shift into a meeting-by-meeting assessment of whether rates should move higher.

Officials also acknowledged risks from overseas and a weak start to the year but remained confident enough in the strength of the recovery to continue laying the groundwork for an interest rate hike. 

Even in the face of a weak first quarter, "participants saw broad-based improvement in labour market conditions ... including strong gains in payroll employment ... While almost all participants noted potential risks to the economic outlook resulting from foreign economic and financial developments, most saw the risks to the outlook for economic growth and the labour market as nearly balanced," the minutes said.

Staff forecasts, meanwhile, projected that even though US economic growth had slowed, it would remain strong enough to continue making progress towards the Fed's inflation and unemployment goals - particularly after the impact of a strong dollar and falling oil prices started to ease.