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Trump renews call for Fed to cut interest rates

Trump renews call for Fed to cut interest rates

WASHINGTON, April 15: President Donald Trump on Friday greeted news of strong jobs growth with a fresh call on the US central bank to cut interest rates and resume economic stimulus. "I personally think the Fed should drop rates, I think they really slowed us down," he told reporters. "There's no inflation." The Labor Department reported Friday that job growth had returned to normal, adding 196,000 net new positions after a frighteningly weak result in February, reports AFP. Trump is not alone in criticizing the central bank, which bumped its benchmark lending rates up by a quarter of a percentage point in December despite signs the economy was slowing. Policymakers have since cut their forecasts for 2019 to zero rate hikes and repeatedly announced they will be "patient" before deciding to raise rates again. Trump however said this was not enough and called for the Fed not only to cut rates but to re-start its post-financial crisis "quantitative easing" program of buying bonds to add liquidity to the economy. "You would see a rocket ship. Despite that, we're doing very well," he said. The US economy grew by about three percent in 2018 and is expected to fare better than other advanced economies this year, growing by another two percent, according to recent forecasts from the Fed and the International Monetary Fund. Trump's public pressure on the Fed breaks with recent norms according to which the White House has refrained from commenting on monetary policy. He has also recently tapped loyalists with unconventional profiles to fill two vacancies on the Fed's board, perhaps giving his views greater weight in policy decisions. Stephen Moore, 59, a former economic adviser to Trump's presidential campaign known for highly criticized views on monetary policy, also faces uncomfortable questions from lawmakers concerning unpaid income taxes and penalties. Herman Cain, 73, whose name Trump announced Thursday, once led a pizzeria chain and has served on the board of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. He dropped out of the 2012 race for the Republican Party's nomination for that year's presidential elections following accusations of sexual harassment, which he denied.

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