Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

'My Biggest Threat Is The Fed'

Presidents for more than two decades avoided public comments on Fed policy as a way of demonstrating respect for the institution's independence.

Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade, said: "For now, the Fed has made it clear that they are focused on their agenda despite rising presidential pressure on their rate decisions".

Higher rates can impact consumers by increasing borrowing costs, which have already ticked higher.

Policy makers at the Federal Reserve remain focused on gradually raising interest rates in response to strength in the USA economy and low unemployment, according to minutes of their September meeting released Wednesday.

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Further rate hikes "would most likely be consistent" with the current period of firming inflation and historically low unemployment, according to the minutes released Wednesday.

In Tuesday's interview, though, Trump said of his other nominees for the Fed, "I put a couple of other people there I'm not so happy with too but for the most part I'm very happy with people".

Last week, Trump called the Fed "loco" and "too aggressive" for its commitment to cooling the economy, and blamed the central bank for the more than 1,000-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average last week.

He says: "My biggest threat is the Fed".

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"A few participants expected that policy would need to become modestly restrictive for a time", according to the minutes. Raising rates is the Fed's way of lowering the risk of runaway inflation, which happens when competition for labor and a shortage of goods in a fast-growing economy leads to big increases in wages and prices.

The Fed also took notice of clouds forming on the horizon.

Inflation rates hit a six-year high in July.

Furthermore, "some" at the meeting said that risks grew as the United States economy increasingly outpaces its rivals' more sluggish growth "because of the potential for further strengthening of the dollar".

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The Fed has been raising interest rates since 2015 and after the rate hike last month it stopped describing the stance of monetary policy as "accommodative", meaning that it no longer thought the level of interest rates was stimulating the economy.

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