Trump: Fed moving too fast on interest rate hikes

Trump: Fed moving too fast on interest rate hikes
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump MORE piled on his criticism of the Federal Reserve on Tuesday, telling reporters he thought the central bank was moving too quickly with a series of planned interest rate hikes.

Trump said he’s not happy with the Fed’s recent rate hikes and didn’t think the current rate of U.S inflation warranted higher borrowing costs. The Fed has raised interest rates six times since Trump took office, most recently in September, and is expected to issue another hike in December.

“I don’t like it,” Trump told reporters as he prepared to depart for a rally in Iowa. “I think we don’t have to go as fast.”

Trump since July has often griped about the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powell. The president has argued that Fed rate hikes would suffocate the strong U.S. economy and tie his hands while the administration seeks new trading terms with Europe and China.


Trump has also bashed Powell in public interviews and private appearances, claiming he thought the chairman would keep rates low. The president nominated Powell, a Republican appointed to the Fed in 2012, to be its chairman last year.

Trump said Tuesday that he hadn’t talked to Powell about his frustration with the Fed’s monetary policy.

Trump’s support for low interest rates contrasts with the Republican Party’s widespread support for tighter monetary policy. The president is one of few GOP officials in favor of lower interest rates, while the bulk of right-leaning economists and lawmakers are preoccupied with fears of higher inflation.

“I like low interest rates,” Trump said Tuesday.

Powell and the Fed are attempting to raise interest rates slowly enough to support maximum growth, but quickly enough to prevent the economy from overheating and spurring rampant inflation. The Fed has hiked rates eight times since 2015 and is expected to raise interest rates at least four more times before the end of 2019.

Inflation has gradually risen to the Fed’s ideal 2 percent target, but U.S. prices and wages show little sign of growing quicker.

Trump said Tuesday that he saw no reason to slow U.S. growth with higher rates if inflation had not been rising to dangerous levels. The president and his top aides are reportedly worried that higher borrowing costs could stifle the economy before the November midterm elections.

The Fed’s rising baseline interest rate range is still relatively low by historical standards. But Fed rate hikes have put upward pressure on consumer interest rates while scrambling the torrid stock market.

The average fixed interest rate on 30-year mortgage has risen to 5 percent for the first time in eight years, according to Mortgage News Daily, and credit card interest rates have steadily climbed since 2016