Updated from 2:17 p.m. EDT

The Federal Reserve's policymaking arm voted unanimously to leave the fed funds rate unchanged at 1.25%, its lowest level in 41 years, but said risks in the economy are now currently weighted more toward weakness than inflation.

The Federal Open Market Committee included language in its announcement saying the economic outlook is "weighted mainly toward conditions that may generate economic weakness" after taking no position on the economy's outlook at its last meeting.

"The ebbing of geopolitical tensions has rolled back oil prices, bolstered consumer confidence and strengthened debt and equity markets," the Fed said in a statement. "These developments, along with the accommodative stance of monetary policy and ongoing growth in productivity, should foster and improving economic climate over time."

Recent economic readings back up the Fed's view, including a preliminary estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product growth that came in at 1.6%, and a third straight month of job losses as measured by the Labor Department's employment report.

But Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has recently been relatively sanguine about the economy's prospects, telling Congress last week that he's confident a recovery is coming, although he was less sure about its timing. "We already have a significant amount of stimulus in place," Greenspan told the House Financial Services Committee.

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