WASHINGTON (AP) — A comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting March 17-18:
INTEREST RATE TIMING:
Now: The Fed has removed all calendar-date references to when it might raise short-term rates, and will focus on data instead: The Fed "anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term."
Then: The Fed "judges that an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate remains unlikely at the April FOMC meeting."
April: The Fed has taken a gloomier view of the economy: "Economic growth slowed during the winter months, in part reflecting transitory factors. The pace of job gains moderated ... Growth in household spending declined."
March: "Information received since the (Fed) met in January suggests that economic growth has moderated somewhat. Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate."