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Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged, Says It Will Be ‘Patient’

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it would take its time about raising interest rates in a statement that was a study in couched language meant to reassure financial markets.

Closing out a two-day meeting against a backdrop of solid domestic growth but trouble overseas, the U.S. central bank said it would take a "patient" approach in deciding when to bump borrowing costs higher. It kept language in the statement that referred to "a considerable time" however.

"Based on its current assessment, the committee judges that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy," the Fed said in a statement. Significantly, the Fed said it viewed that statement as "consistent" with its previous language that it would be some time before it hiked rates.

In doing so, it looked beyond economic difficulties in the euro zone, Japan and Russia and offered a mostly upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy's prospects.

While the growth outlook remained solid, Fed policymakers indicated that they would take a slower approach to the pace of future rate hikes, a nod to the still-weak inflation picture.

Hot spots on Fed's radar 3:34

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-- NBC News Staff and Reuters