Trump says Fed is ‘out of control’

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania

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AFP

US President Donald Trump has renewed his attacks on the central bank, the Federal Reserve, calling it “out of control” and “far too stringent”.

Mr Trump said he was not going to fire Fed chairman Jay Powell, but was just “disappointed” in the bank’s policies.

His criticisms came during remarks at the White House. Earlier, he told Fox News the Fed was being “too aggressive” by raising interest rates this year and getting “a little bit too cute”.

He said it was “making a big mistake”.

“I’m paying interest at a high rate because of our Fed,” he added, referring to the cost of servicing the US deficit.

Mr Trump’s comments follow several days of declines in US stock markets.

On Thursday, the Dow and S&P 500 share indexes closed more than 2% lower, while the Nasdaq slipped 1.25%.

White House officials, including Mr Trump, have dismissed the declines as standard corrections after a long run of rising share prices.

But a fall would be a concern to the president, who frequently cites stock market performance as a sign of his administration’s success.

Though interest rates remain low by historic standards, higher rates make borrowing more expensive.

Some analysts attribute the recent market declines to investors worried those costs will hurt company profits.

Trade tensions have also raised concerns after the US and China slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods over the past few months.

Economists say the moves will also raise costs and hurt growth.

On Thursday, US media reported that Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were planning to meet next month.

But in a morning telephone interview with the Fox & Friends programme, Mr Trump took a hard line.

“They want to negotiate, they want to negotiate badly, but I told them, ‘You’re not ready yet. You’re not ready yet.'”

He also said his trade policies had hurt China’s economy.

“Their economy has gone down very substantially. And I have a lot more to do if I want to do it and I don’t want to do, but they have to come to the table. …

“They lived too well for too long and frankly I guess they think that the Americans are stupid people. Americans are not stupid people.”

Trump says Fed is ‘out of control’}

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