Trump slams Fed's rate policy despite strong economy

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he's "not thrilled" the USA central bank under Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is continuing to raise interest rates, suggesting the Fed may be undercutting his efforts to grow the economy.

The Fed last month raised its benchmark rate for a second time this year and projected two more hikes this year.

"I am not happy about it. I couldn't care less what they say, because my views haven't changed". It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.

The Fed has been set on a slow and steady path of interest rate hikes over the past two years, leading economists to wonder if the central bank could tamp down some of Trump's promised economic growth. "I want them to do well". Both political and economic officials believe that the central bank needs to operate free of political pressure from the White House or elsewhere to properly manage interest rate policy.

"We're down a tremendous amount", said Mr Trump, reiterating his view that China's trade surplus with the United States amounts to unfair trading practices.

"Of course the President respects the independence of the Fed", White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters told Business Insider.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of global currencies, was off almost 0.5 percent before the stock market opened in NY.

China's central bank is allowing its tightly controlled currency to drift lower against the dollar, a move that could help Chinese exporters cope with USA tariff hikes.

Trump tapped Powell, who had served as a governor at the USA central bank, to serve at its helm following Janet Yellen.

The president acknowledged that his comments about the Fed would likely raise concerns. In emerging markets such as Turkey, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has felt no such restraint.

"Tightening now hurts all that we have done".

In an address to Congress this week Fed Chair Jerome Powell repeated his view that rates would keep rising slowly now that the unemployment rate was at the lowest since the 1960s and consumer price inflation was 2.9% annually in June. Most notably, during the Bill Clinton administration, Robert Rubin, first as head of the National Economic Council and later as Treasury Secretary, was to refrain from pressuring the Fed on policy, a precedent that has been followed by the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The last known example of U.S. presidential strong-arming came when George H W Bush was fighting for re-election. Rubin argued for that policy to be maintained in a New York Times op-ed piece past year when the White House was mulling the choice of Yellen's successor.

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