A comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting Jan. 28-29:
Now: The Fed has become much less specific about when it will raise its benchmark short-term interest rate: "The Committee will assess progress — both realized and expected — toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial developments."
Then: Low interest rates "will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6 1/2 percent, inflation between one and two years ahead is projected to be no more than a half percentage point above the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal, and longer-term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored."
March: Its assessment of the economy is weaker: "Information received since the (Fed) met in January indicates that growth in economic activity slowed during the winter months, in part reflecting adverse weather conditions."
January: "Information received since the (Fed) met in December indicates that growth in economic activity picked up in recent quarters."