Fed Chairman Powell, Trump Meet, Discuss Economy

Date : 11/18/2019 @ 4:23PM
Source : Dow Jones News

Fed Chairman Powell, Trump Meet, Discuss Economy

By Nick Timiraos 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell met with President Trump at the White House on Monday to discuss the economy, the central bank said in a statement.

Fed officials have cut their short-term rate three times since July, most recently in October to a range between 1.5% and 1.75%. Officials lowered rates to cushion the U.S. economy against the risks of a sharp slowdown due to a slide in business investment and decelerating global growth.

" Chair Powell's comments were consistent with his remarks at his congressional hearings last week. He didn't discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming information that bears on the outlook for the economy," the central bank said in a statement.

The two men haven't met since Mr. Trump hosted Mr. Powell for dinner at the White House residence in February. Mr. Trump has frequently attacked Mr. Powell in statements on Twitter, calling him an enemy of the state and a "terrible communicator."

"Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again. No "guts," no sense, no vision!" Mr. Trump said in September on Twitter, shortly after the Fed cut interest rates for the second time this year.

Mr. Trump has spoken by phone with Mr. Powell three times this year, for around five minutes each, most recently in May, according to Mr. Powell's public calendar.

Mr. Trump's attacks on the Fed ended a bipartisan precedent extending to the Clinton administration in which presidents didn't publicly direct the central bank on how to set policy. In the 1960s and 1970s, inflation accelerated after presidents pressured the central bank to stimulate growth.

At a congressional hearing last week, Mr. Powell declined to respond directly when invited by lawmakers to answer any of Mr. Trump's insults. "It's very, very important that the public understands that we do our work on a nonpartisan, nonpolitical basis," he said.

Write to Nick Timiraos at nick.timiraos@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 18, 2019 11:08 ET (16:08 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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