The Federal Reserve on Thursday held benchmark U.S. interest rates steady at 5.25 percent for an eighth straight meeting and dropped a description of core inflation as elevated.

However, the Fed reiterated that its main concern was that inflation might fail to moderate.

The decision by the central bank's Federal Open Market Committee keeps the overnight federal funds rate target at the level it hit in June last year after 17 straight quarter-percentage point increases.

At its previous two meetings in March and May, the Fed had described increases in nonfood, nonenergy prices as somewhat elevated.