The Federal Open Market Committee noted a "modest" improvement in some economic indicators and an easing of inflationary pressures as it raised its target for the federal funds rate Tuesday by 25 basis points to 1.75%.Steve Stanley, chief economist at RBS Greenwich Capital Markets, said most market participants were focused not on the rate hike itself, which was expected, but rather the Fed's comments about the economy and inflation in a statement issued in conjunction with the Sept. 21 move. "After moderating earlier this year partly in response to the substantial rise in energy prices, output growth appears to have regained some traction, and labor market conditions have improved modestly," the Federal Reserve reported. "Despite the rise in energy prices, inflation and inflation expectations have eased in recent months." The Fed can be found online at http://www.federalreserve.gov, and RBS Greenwich Capital can be found at http://www.gcm.com.

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