The Federal Open Market Committee decided to leave its target rate unchanged at 0.0%-0.25% but said that “downside risks to the economic outlook have increased” and economic conditions “are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through mid-2013.”

It was a divided FOMC making the decision. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president Richard Fisher, Minneapolis Fed president Naryana Kocherlakota, and Philadelphia Fed president Charles Plosser didn’t want the dated commitment, preferring the previous “extended period” language.

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