In Rare Move for a President, Trump Criticizes Fed

"I'm not thrilled", he said in an interview on the television network.

"I'm not thrilled, because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again", Trump told CNBC.

"I am not happy about it. But at the same time I'm letting them do what they feel is best", he added.

Mr Trump said that he was "not happy" with the Fed's plans for further rate rises, which would put the United States at a "disadvantage" to other economies with looser monetary policy. USA central bankers project two more rate increases this year and another three hikes in 2019.

The Fed has been slowly raising interest rates since December 2015 in an effort to avoid overheating the USA economy.

"We have a long tradition here of conducting policy in a particular way, and that way is independent of all political concerns", Powell said.

After more than six years of record low interest rates that helped the U.S. economy recover from the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed began to slowly raise rates again in December 2015 and has raised them five times since Trump took office in January 2017. Sure, non-presidents can and often do grouse about the Fed.

Mr. Trump's lengthy riff on interest rates Thursday risks tainting that.

Before winning the White House, Trump had publicly complained for years that the Fed was too loose with the US money supply.

Bloomberg's headline says Trump "trespass [ed] on Fed's independence". The President acknowledge the unusual nature of his comments but pressed on, saying he has held the same viewpoint since being a private citizen. "So somebody would say, 'Oh, maybe you shouldn't say that as president. I couldn't care less what they say, because my views haven't changed".

Trump's remarks come as the USA economy enjoys its second-longest economic expansion on record which has seen unemployment fall close to the lowest levels in 50 years. USA stock prices briefly pared losses after Trump's comments on interest rates.

The White House also attempted to assuage fears of the president pressuring the Fed immediately after Trump's comments were released.

'Of course the President respects the independence of the Fed. If not an actual violation of Fed independence-he was complaining, not instructing-it was.

It wasn't the first time in history the Fed has faced pressure from a USA president.

When Robert Rubin led President Bill Clinton's National Economic Council, he adopted a rule of never commenting on the Fed's actions - a policy that was subsequently followed by the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. In emerging markets such as Turkey, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has felt no such restraint.

Randall Kroszner, a former Fed governor, said the central bank has withstood political pressure before and will continue to do so under Powell's leadership.

The last known example of US presidential strong-arming came when George H.W. Bush was fighting for re-election.

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