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