By Kevin Kelleher
August 20, 2018

For the second time in a month, President Trump publicly expressed his displeasure with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, saying that it should be more accommodating to economic growth.

The president told Reuters on Monday that he wasn’t “thrilled,” this time singling out Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. “I’m not thrilled with his raising of interest rates, no, I’m not thrilled,” he said. “During this period of time I should be given some help by the Fed. The other countries are accommodated.”

Trump’s comments come a month after he said on CNBC, “I’m not thrilled” that the federal reserve was increasing borrowing costs at the risk of slowing economic growth.

In developed economies, central banks are independent of political control. While many U.S. presidents have chafed at the Fed’s inclination to increase rates and curb inflation, few if any have been as outspoken as Trump in their criticisms of the U.S. central bank.

The latest Reuters interview followed comments that Trump made at a fundraiser on Long Island on Friday. According to Bloomberg, Trump said he expected Powell to be what the news service said was a “cheap-money Fed chairman.”

The U.S. dollar was trading lower against other major currencies following Trump’s comments. In July, the president’s criticism of the Fed also caused the dollar to weaken.

Last November, Trump nominated Powell as Fed Chairman to replace Janet Yellen when her term expired in February. The Fed has raised interest rates five times since Trump took office in January 2017, with two of those coming this year under Powell.

The Federal Reserve last raised interest rates in June, when it signaled that it could raise them two more times this year.

Some central bank observers have suggested that Trump was setting Powell up for blame in the event that the economy goes into recession.

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