Trump takes aim at Federal Reserve over interest rate hike


Economists expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates on Wednesday.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump said that the Federal Reserve should "take the Victory" of a strong USA dollar while "the outside world is blowing up around us", instead of raising interest rates. In a speech last month, Powell spoke of the current range of the Fed's benchmark rate - 2 percent to 2.25 percent - as "just below" neutral.

For his part, Powell, who was appointed by Trump, has avoided answering the President and has held that the good economic times the country is enjoying, with an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, the lowest in nearly half a century, and inflation close to the annual goal of 2 percent, recommend a progressive hike in interest rates. She said the threat of a trade war and slower growth by China is also weighing on investors. In its most recent outlook in September, the Fed predicted that the economy would expand a robust 3.1 percent this year before slowing to still-solid 2.5 percent in 2019.

While the US economy looks strong right now, there are signs of a potential slowdown. The main doubt as to whether it will raise rates relates to the weakness in the stock market, with the Dow Jones industrial average notching up a 500-point fall this week. Wages are also growing at their fastest pace in a decade in nominal terms, a sign more inflation could be coming. Given the persistent losses on Wall Street, investors will be watching to see if Powell drops any hint that the Fed considers the market's plunge a factor in its rate decisions.

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Despite such concerns, many market watchers say the economy remains in good shape and is unlikely to enter a recession anytime soon, citing healthy levels of consumer spending and robust corporate profits. Zero interest rates were introduced during the recession. "Unfortunately, we doubt anyone believes them".

In a tweet, President Trump advised the Fed to "feel the market" and not to "just go by meaningless numbers".

Behind the Fed's shifting policy is a global slowdown, a U.S.

Markets have slumped on growing concerns about slowing USA and global economic growth amid rising interest rates and trade tensions between the US and China.

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"China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower, while the United States is raising rates while the dollars gets stronger and stronger with each passing day-taking away our big competitive edge", Trump said in a Twitter post on July 20.

Trump fired off two such tweets this week in the run-up to the Fed meeting.

But it does place an even greater importance on the Fed's dots this time around. "There are no politics at the Fed". And some predict that the rate increases, which began three years ago, will end altogether next year. But while economists don't like Trump's Fed bashing, there are some who are starting to agree with the president that it's time for the Fed to hit pause on the rate hikes.

His remarks bring unprecedented pressure on the central bank as policymakers meet in Washington for a two-day meeting.

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