White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow applauded President Trump’s public pressure on the Fed on the pace of the central bank’s interest-rate hikes.
“I’m very glad the Federal Reserve is putting their rates on hold,” he said on TV Thursday,
“I think the president’s warning on that was spot on. Now hopefully the Fed will step aside,” said Mr. Kudlow.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell met President Trump at the White House for dinner last week to discuss the economy’s performance and outlook, but the central bank said its chief did not share his expectations for monetary policy.
Mr. Powell’s comments were “consistent with his remarks at his press conference of last week,” the Fed said in a statement. “He did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming economic information and what that means for the outlook.”
Meetings between a President and Fed chief are rare but not unprecedented. This followed repeated public criticism by President Trump of Mr. Powell over Fed rate increases that culminated HeffX-LTN reporting on 21 Decmber that President Trump had discussed firing the man he picked to lead the central bank.
Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also attended the dinner, which took place in the White House residence. Secretary Mnuchin extended President Trump’s invitation. The dinner lasted 1.5 hours.
Mr. Powell told the President that monetary policy was aimed at supporting the Fed’s mandate of maximum employment and stable prices and that decisions were “based solely on careful, objective and non-political analysis,” according to the Fed.
The minutes from the meeting said the FOMC will “be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range” were needed, a signal that rates could go higher or lower if necessary. They left rates on hold and adopted a more flexible approach to balance sheet runoff, which they left unchanged for now.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters referred all questions about the meeting to the Fed.
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