The Federal Reserve left its key interest rates unchanged, saying the recession is easing but economic weakness will keep inflation in check.

Against this backdrop, the Fed held a key bank lending rate at a record low of between zero and 0.25 percent, and pledged again to keep it there for "an extended period."

Even though energy and other commodity prices have risen recently, the Fed predicted inflation will remain "subdued for some time." This new language sought to ease Wall Street's concerns that the Fed's aggressive actions to revive the economy will spur inflation later on.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This article was written by a staff member of