Powell: Fed unlikely to move interest rates this year
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the Fed is unlikely to adjust interest rates in 2020, as long as the economy stays on its current path of growth.
President Trump is not withdrawing his nomination of either Judy Shelton or Christopher Waller to the Federal Reserve Board – despite rumors circulating on Capitol Hill.
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Refuting reports to the contrary, Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said on Twitter that the White House expects both nominees – who appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday – to be confirmed.
It was speculated that Trump was considering pulling his nomination of Shelton due to opposition among lawmakers. She has unconventional economic views, which include supporting tying the dollar’s value to gold and questioning whether the Fed needs to be fully independent. She also opposed the Fed’s ultra-low interest rate policy during the height of the financial crisis.
Shelton was an economic adviser to Trump's 2016 campaign. She recently served as U.S. executive director for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a multilateral institution set up in 1991 to help former communist countries transition to market economies.
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Waller is the director of research at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank and has more conventional views.
Both nominees need to be confirmed by the Senate Banking Committee and the full chamber.
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Trump, meanwhile, has been a staunch critic of the Federal Reserve and its chairman, Jerome Powell, over its monetary policy decisions. He has specifically gone after Powell for not cutting interest rates sooner, which he alleges has put the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage.
The central bank left interest rates unchanged during its first meeting of the year, as the federal funds rate sits between 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent. Despite Trump’s urges for the Fed to lower rates, it has indicated that it will hold steady barring any unexpected changes on the economic front.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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