Trump slams the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates

Trump slams rate increases by independent Federal Reserve

'Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again.

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

Trump said he didn't approve of the hikes, even though he said he "put a very good man in" at the Fed in Powell.

Mr Trump said increased rates had resulted in a stronger dollar which put the USA at a disadvantage compared with places where central banks are holding interest rates steady.

The Fed's independence from political influence is at the heart of how the central bank conducts monetary policy, and financial markets broadly trust that the Fed will retain this independence when forecasting the future evolution of interest rates.

"Now I'm just saying the same thing that I would have said as a private citizen", he said, according to CNBC. "So somebody would say, 'Oh, maybe you shouldn't say that as president. But at the same time I'm letting them do what they feel is best", he added.

USA central bankers project two more rate increases this year and another three hikes in 2019.

The comments raised the spectre of President Richard Nixon's pressure on the Fed in the 1970s, which led to economically damaging stagflation.

Trump nominated Powell as Fed chairman past year to replace Janet Yellen. Powell told lawmakers that "for now - the best way forward is to keep gradually raising the federal funds rate".

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Trump called Powell "a very good man" but worries that the work the administration has done will be nullified, CNBC reported.

Mr. Trump's economic policies, including the biggest tax cut in US history, have fueled a strong economic expansion and record low unemployment. "Looking ahead, my colleagues on the FOMC and I expect that, with appropriate monetary policy, the job market will remain strong and inflation will stay near 2 percent over the next several years" said Powell in prepared congressional testimony on the central bank's semi-annual Monetary Policy Report on the USA economy Tuesday.

Overall, however, markets weren't too rattled when a mid-afternoon headline from CNBC indicated Trump is not happy about the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates. The central bank has always been seen as needing to operate free of political pressure from the White House or elsewhere to properly manage interest rate policy.

Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith declined to comment.

GE's earnings will be most closely watched as it marks the company's first report since being kicked out of the Dow in late June.

Most Fed policymakers see the USA job market as close to full strength, while inflation has recently risen to the Fed's 2 percent target.

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. Given Trump's recent Fed picks, this doesn't appear to be the case.

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

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