President Trump urged the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates on Tuesday, the first day of the two-day FOMC meeting, during which policymakers at the U.S. central bank are widely expected to hold the benchmark federal funds rate steady.
“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.
The Federal Open Market Committee meeting kicked off on Tuesday and will conclude on Wednesday with a press conference held by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Most economists anticipate that the federal funds rate will remain unchanged at 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent and could do so for the remainder of the year, as well.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the Fed, and Powell, for what he perceives as hindering economic growth. At the end of March, Trump told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo that the U.S. GDP would have climbed higher than 4 percent in 2018 if the Fed had not voted to raise interest rates four times that same year.
He also previously suggested the economy would take off like a “rocket ship” if the Fed ended its monetary tightening policy and lowered borrowing rates.
“I think they should drop rates and get rid of quantitative tightening,” Trump told reporters at the beginning of April. “You would see a rocket ship. Despite that, we’re doing very well.”
The frequency of Trump’s attacks against the Fed has raised some concerns about the political independence of the central bank, particularly after Trump nominated conservative economist Stephen Moore to fill one of two vacancies on the Fed’s seven-member board.
Like Trump, Moore often criticizes the policies imposed by the Fed, emphasizing that he prefers a cautious approach toward additional rate hikes.
“I would look very carefully at repealing the rate increase that happened in December,” he told FOX Business in April.