Trump calls on Fed to cut interest rates to zero 'or less'

Trump calls on Fed to cut interest rates to zero 'or less'

The US president called the Fed's rate-setters "boneheads" in another online barrage targeting its policymakers, warning they are missing out on "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

The U.S. Federal Reserve should get interest rates down to "zero, or less", and then start to refinance its debt, President Donald Trump said in early Wednesday tweet.

Powell has indicated the possibility of more cuts to prevent the economy from slowing down, but has stressed that the Fed does not consider political factors in deciding on monetary policy.

Last month, however, Trump told reporters at the White House that he did not want to see negative rates in the United States, and analysts on Wednesday said the still-growing USA economy would be put at risk if the Fed pursued them.

Investors overwhelmingly expect the Fed to deliver a 25-basis-point rate cut next week. The Fed's benchmark rate is now 2%-2.25% following a quarter-point reduction on July 31 - the first cut since the Fed lowered rates effectively to zero in 2008, during the worst financial crisis and economic downturn since the Great Depression. The policy is meant to account for extremely weak economic conditions by essentially charging banks to hold reserve deposits at the Fed.

Powell has vowed to act to ensure that American economic expansion continues but warned the central bank has no "rulebook" for dealing with trade conflict.

With numerous world's central banks cutting rates amid signs of flagging economic growth, Trump says the Fed is putting the United States at a disadvantage. "But the Fed can still go too low; and every usual indicator suggests that setting rates at zero, let alone below, would be setting them way too low".

"We have the great currency, power, and balance sheet", he tweeted.

The Fed chair noted, however, that unemployment had remained near historic lows for about 18 months while wages were rising, fueling consumer spending.

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