President Trump, “I am not thrilled with rate hikes”
President Donald Trump criticized the Fed’s interest-rate increases, breaking with White House tradition of avoiding comments on monetary policy out of respect for the independence of the central bank.
“I’m not thrilled,” President Trump said in expressing frustration with the Fed in an interview to be broadcast in full Friday.
“Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don’t really, I am not happy about it. But at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best,” President Trump said. “I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up,” he said.
The Fed has hiked rates 2X this year and most experts expect 2 more increases by year’s end. The Fed has raised interest rates 5X since President Trump took office in January 2017.
President Trump’s comments came after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell delivered an upbeat assessment this week to Congress on the domestic economy.
The USD rallied for 3 consecutive days after Chairman Powell said the Fed will continue to tighten policy, pressuring emerging market assets and commodities. He told lawmakers that “for now — the best way forward is to keep gradually raising the federal funds rate.”
President Trump called ChairmanPowell “a very good man” but worries that the work the administration has done will be nullified.
President Trump added that he was concerned that the Fed’s rate hikes may put the United States at a “disadvantage” while the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank keep their monetary policy loose.
“Now I’m just saying the same thing that I would have said as a private citizen,” he said. “So somebody would say, ‘Oh, maybe you should not say that as President. I could not care less what they say, because my views haven not changed,” he said.
The White House said: “Of course the President respects the independence of the Fed. As he said he considers the Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell a very good man and that he is not interfering with Fed policy decisions. The President’s views on interest rates are well known and his comments today are a reiteration of those long held positions, and public comments”
Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith declined to comment.