Comparing US Fed's views on economy, housing

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Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 12:00 am

A comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting Sept. 17-18:

BORROWING RATES:

September: The Fed was concerned about higher mortgage rates: "The tightening of financial conditions observed in recent months, if sustained, could slow the pace of improvement in the economy and labor market."

October: That sentence has been removed, suggesting Fed policymakers are no longer concerned: The Fed "sees the downside risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as having diminished, on net, since last fall."

ECONOMY:

Then: "Economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace. Some indicators of labor market conditions have shown further improvement in recent months, but the unemployment rate remains elevated."

Now: Despite some slight word changes, the assessment is similar: "Economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace. Indicators of labor market conditions have shown some further improvement, but the unemployment rate remains elevated."

HOUSING:

Then: "The housing sector has been strengthening, but mortgage rates have risen further."

Now: "The recovery in the housing sector slowed somewhat in recent months."

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