A comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting Sept. 20-21:

RATE HIKE TIMING:

Now: The Fed now simply needs just "some" additional evidence that the economy is improving: The Fed "judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives."

Then: The Fed "judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened but decided, for the time being, to wait for further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives."

INFLATION:

October: The statement removed a reference to inflation "remaining low," a sign that Fed policymakers see inflation firming: "Inflation is expected to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further."

September: "Inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of earlier declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2 percent over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further."