President Donald Trump seems to have out himself on a collision course with America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve.
On Monday night, he criticised Fed chairman Jerome Powell and colleagues for raising interest rates, and said the central bank ought to be helping the White House in its trade negotiations with China and other countries.
Mr Powell was appointed by Mr Trump after the incoming president declined to re-appoint Janet Yellen. A former investment banker, he has sat as a governor of the Fed since 2012.
Trump “not thrilled”
He has continued Ms Yellen’s policy of gradually restoring interest rates to something approach normality after the ultra-low levels seen during and after the financial crisis.
Since then, there have been two more hikes, to 1.5%-1.75% in March and to 1.75%-2% after the June meeting of the federal open market committee, the body that sets interest rates.
Mr Powell and his colleagues are committed to continuing with a gradual series of rate rises as and when the economic data justify increases in borrowing costs. But Mr Trump said he was “not thrilled” by this approach, and suggested it was undermining his efforts to stop China and others offsetting US tariffs by allowing their currencies to weaken, making their goods more attractive when priced in currencies such as the dollar.