On Wednesday the Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates for the third time in 2018, which is the usual behavior in a country with a strong economy and low unemployment. In the hours following the hike, President Donald Trump voiced his displeasure with the federal reserves’ move, an uncommon action by a sitting president, according to reports from CNN Money.
In a press conference in New York City, Trump made his displeasure very clear, saying, “I am not happy about that. I’d rather pay down debt or do other things, create more jobs, so I’m worried about the fact that they seem to like raising interest rates. We can do other things with the money. But they raised them, and they’re raising them because we’re doing so well.”
Trump did give credit to families who had been saving their money and thus could collect greater interest on that amount.
For the past three years, the Federal Reserve has been slowly raising interest rates, eventually returning them to the standard they were at before the financial crisis. The point of constantly adjusting interest rates by the federal reserve is to stimulate weak economies as well as taper off ones that are running at too high of a volume and have the potential to set off inflation.
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time this year, upping the rate that helps determine costs of mortgages and credit cards. The decision, which was expected, is a sign of increased confidence in the US economy. https://t.co/hLsEguTN7v pic.twitter.com/htQQio7yku
— CNNMoney (@CNNMoney) September 26, 2018
The Federal Reserve was set up as an independent entity from the American government and there is a general understanding that presidents stay away from commenting on their policies. However, Trump has spoken on exactly that in the past, saying in interviews that a higher interest rate would undermine America against its competition.
“I’m not thrilled with his raising of interest rates, no. I’m not thrilled,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters when speaking about his own appointee to the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell. “I should be given some help by the Fed.”
When Powell was asked about potential criticism from Trump during the press conference where he announced the hike, Powell said, “We don’t consider political factors or things like that. That’s who we are. That’s what we do. And that’s just the way it’s always going to be for us.”
The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates six times since Trump entered the office, which includes three times since the appointment of Powell. This is usual activity in an economy that’s growing stronger.
Powell emphasized that every decision made by the Federal Reserve is in the best interest of the country, saying, “We’ve been given a really important job to do on behalf of the American people by Congress, and we’ve been given the tools to do it. My colleagues and I are focused exclusively on carrying out that mission.”