ANOTHER DISCOUNT RATE CUT LIKELY

DESPITE SOME RECENT statistical evidence of an economic pickup, many analysts still expect one more discount rate cut from the Federal Reserve Board.

That cut, according to the conventional wisdom, would come around the time of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings at the end of this month.The timing would allow U.S. central bankers to meet with their associates

from Germany and Japan and coordinate a rate drop. Conventional wisdom now holds that the next decline will occur only in the context of such a three-way move.

The Federal Reserve already has cut the discount rate at which it lends to member banks four times this year. In March, the Fed reduced the rate to 7 percent from 7.5 percent, and then cut it to 6.5 percent in April, 6 percent in July and 5.5 percent in the most recent cut, on Aug. 20.

Though last week's stock market decline was caused in part by analysts who now believe the Fed has made its last move, many others disagree and are urging the central bank to ease credit further.

But administration and central bank officials believe that a further easing in the United States without a similar move by major trading partners would be counterproductive if it worked to lower the value of the dollar or keep demand here higher than abroad.

THE INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK, its lending down sharply so far this year, may soon rev up a series of loans to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Through early September, the agency had issued only $442 million in new credits this year, far below the more than $3 billion annual lending rate of recent years. The downturn is especially striking since the bank had been named by U.S. Treasury Secretary James Baker in his plan for more lending to big debt developing countries.

Treasury itself may be behind the bank's recent low lending volume. It reportedly is finding fault with many loans under consideration at the bank - a tactic that may be linked to its effort to reform the bank's operations.

But this week the bank's board is due to vote on several new loans, including a $120 million credit for urban redevelopment in Argentina. It could be the start of a cascade of credits so that the bank ends the year with a respectable loan total.

Meanwhile, a committee of the bank's board of governors is due to meet here next week to resume negotiations on proposals to boost the agency's lending resources.

THE NEW MARITIME promotional and regulatory system proposed by Brazil may be more favorable than expected in industry and government here.

The proposal has a long way to go before it becomes official Brazilian policy but it seems to call for a shift to more private Brazilian participation and less government than at present.

And, at the moment, it contains a cargo preference plan, which is more liberal than the current Brazilian policy and that would assure third-country operators a share.

The plan will be further refined and then submitted to Brazil's Congress for approval, but action is not expected before the Dec. 31 expiration date of the current U.S.-Brazilian maritime agreement.

The betting is that, in part because of the favorable tone of the proposed new system, another short-term extension of that agreement will be negotiated.

AN EFFORT IS UNDER WAY in the House to block the Reagan administration's campaign to bring the essential air service program established in 1978 to an early end.

The House Committee on Transportation and Public Works unanimously approved a resolution last week stating that it is the sense of the Congress that the program be maintained and fully funded for the full 10-year period for which it was authorized.

The program was established as part of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 to assure continued air service to small communities. It provides government subsidies to carriers willing to maintain service on routes abandoned following deregulation.

THE ENERGY DEPARTMENT may take until next year to sign contracts with all the nine compa nies selected to receive clean coal technology funding, but the first contract may be ready by the end of the year.

DOE officials told a House subcommittee that each of the potential recipients have been asked to submit more information on how they will use the money and how they will repay the government.

That is a touchy issue, especially for the coal industry. It believes the government should not expect repayment and should consider the money an investment in the commercialization of coal burning technology.

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