The Federal Reserve will look past low inflation and drop a pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a "considerable time" as it seeks an exit from the loosest monetary policy in its 100-year history, economists said.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which meets today and tomorrow in Washington, will adopt a word such as "patient" to describe its approach to policy, according to 68 percent of 56 economists surveyed by Bloomberg late last week. Only 23 percent said the committee will keep "considerable time," and a majority expect rates won't rise at every meeting after liftoff in mid-2015.

Fed officials weighing when to tighten policy are likely to focus on a jobless rate that's fast approaching their goal for full employment, even as declining oil prices hold inflation below their target, economists said.

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