The Federal Reserve Board's monetary policy-making committee has left the target federal funds rate unchanged at 5.25% for the second meeting in a row, citing moderation in economic growth that it said partly reflects a cooling in the housing market.Notable changes in the Federal Open Market Committee's statement from the previous month's included: the deletion of references to specific factors other than housing among the catalysts for economic slowing; a reference to economic growth as "continuing" rather than something that "has moderated;" and the addition of a drop in energy prices to the list of factors the Fed expects to eventually reduce inflation. "In essence, the changes to the statement both reflect the likely effects of the sharp turn in energy prices -- one on the growth side, one on the inflation side," said Stephen Stanley, chief economist of RBS Greenwich Capital Markets. As in the previous meeting, one FOMC member -- Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Richmond, Va. Federal Reserve Bank -- dissented, saying he preferred to see a 25-basis-point hike.

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