What's changed: Comparing U.S. Fed statements on interest rates, jobs

A comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting October 27-28:

RATE HIKE:

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Now: Fed policymakers see the economy as able to handle a rate increase: The Fed "decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1/4 to 1/2 per cent."

Then: The Fed did not raise rates but hinted at a rate increase at the December meeting: "In determining whether it will be appropriate to raise the target range at its next meeting, the Committee will assess progress--both realized and expected--toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 per cent inflation."

JOBS:

December: The Fed sees the job market as much improved: "A range of recent labour market indicators, including ongoing job gains and declining unemployment, shows further improvement and confirms that the underutilization of labour resources has diminished appreciably since early this year."

October: "The pace of job gains slowed and the unemployment rate held steady. Nonetheless, labour market indicators, on balance, show that underutilization of labour resources has diminished since early this year."

INFLATION:

December: The Fed is more confident inflation will reach its 2 per cent target: "Inflation is expected to rise to 2 per cent over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labour market strengthens further."

October: "Inflation is anticipated to remain near its recent low level in the near term but the Committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 per cent over the medium term as the labour market improves further and the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate."



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