A comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting Oct. 29-30:
October: "However, (policymakers) decided to await more evidence that progress will be sustained before adjusting the pace of its purchases."
December: "In light of the cumulative progress toward maximum employment and the improvement in the outlook for labor market conditions, (policymakers) decided to modestly reduce the pace of its asset purchases.
Then: The Fed decided to keep its target for the short term rate it controls between 0 and 0.25 percent and currently anticipates that this exceptionally low range ... will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent."
Now: The Fed expects to keep rates lower for longer: The Fed "now anticipates ... that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate well past the time that the unemployment rate declines below 6.5 percent."