Fed Drops Word 'Patient,' Still Soothes Investors
Moves closer to a rate increase, but suggests it's not imminent
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2015 2:03 PM CDT
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen smiles prior to testifying on Capitol Hill last month.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – The Federal Reserve continued its slow dance with Wall Street today about when it will finally raise interest rates, and the bottom line is June at the earliest, reports the Wall Street Journal. However, if jobs and inflation aren't hitting their targets at that point, the Fed would likely push the increase to later in the year. Investors were clearly soothed by what they heard, with the Dow going from a deficit of about 115 points to a gain of about the same amount in the wake of the afternoon statement, reports MarketWatch. The big change in the Fed's outlook? The lack of the word "patient."

The New York Times parses the details: The Fed statement "did not reiterate the Fed’s recent promise to remain 'patient' in deciding when to start raising rates. Instead, it said the Fed would act 'when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2% objective over the medium term.'" The general consensus is that by dropping the word, the Fed inched closer to a rate increase—but it also suggested that the increase will come later than some had expected.