Fed unanimously backed higher interest rates, despite Trump

President Donald Trump’s unhappiness with the Federal Reserve for hiking interest rates seems to be having little sway with policymakers. Central bank officials were unified in voting last month to boost rates by a quarter point, the Fed’s account of its September policy meeting shows. 

Some members of the rate-setting panel — the Federal Open Market Committee — also indicated it might be necessary to raise rates more aggressively to keep the economy from overheating. But others argued against stronger tightening of monetary policy without “clear signs” the economy is running hot.

Mr. Trump said Tuesday in an interview with Fox Business Network that he views the Fed as his “biggest threat,” criticizing Chairman Jerome Powell and other Fed officials for moving “too fast” to raise interest rates.

The central bank continues to have a bullish outlook on the U.S. economy, and praised “robust increases” in household income, the minutes show.

Economists expect the Fed to shrug off White House pressure and continue slowly raising rates, which remain historically low.

“Overall, nothing here to change our view that the Fed will persist with its ‘gradual approach of hiking by 25 [basis points] each quarter,” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist with Capital Economics, said in a note.

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