President Trump once again criticized the Federal Reserve for hurting economic growth in the U.S., claiming that the stock market would be substantially higher if policymakers had not raised interest rates during their December meeting, according to CNN.
While speaking at a meeting of Japanese business leaders in Tokyo, Trump said the stock market would be anywhere between 7,000 to 10,000 points higher if the U.S. central bank had chosen to keep interest rates steady. He also suggested that the growth rate in the U.S. would have exceeded 3 percent.
“But they wanted to raise interest rates,” he said. “You’ll explain that to me.”
Trump, despite hand-picking Chairman Jerome Powell more than a year ago, has been a frequent critic of the Fed, often urging policymakers to cut interest rates from the current target range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent and blaming them for what he perceives as hurting economic growth.
“Our Federal Reserve has incessantly lifted interest rates, even though inflation is very low, and instituted a very big dose of quantitative tightening. We have the potential to go up like a rocket if we did some lowering of rates, like one point, and some quantitative easing,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets at the end of April.
So far this year, the Fed has erred on the dovish side, signaling that there will be no changes to the interbank lending rate in either direction as it looks to strike a balance between relatively strong economic data in the U.S. and potential headwinds — such as the U.S.-China trade war and muted inflation.
Most recently, minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s April 30-May 1 meeting published on Wednesday revealed that even in the face of increased global economic growth or more moderate growth, better financial conditions and moderating global uncertainties, rates will remain steady “for some time.”
Last year, the Fed hiked interest rates four times.