Federal Reserve’s New Vice Chairman Cautiously Backs Further Rate Increases

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The last hike already drew criticism from Trump.

Since the end of 2015, after almost ten years of monetary policy rates near zero to support a recovery slow and poor, the Fed has gradually moved the rate of interest in the day-to-day, which are now between 2% and 2.25%.

Asked whether Powell and the Fed are doing a good job, Orrin Hatch said Wednesday in Washington: "I think so". He made similar remarks to reporters on the White House lawn earlier in October and in an interview with Reuters back in August.

U.S. growth reached 4.2 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter, its strongest pace in four years.

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The Fed in recent years has kept rates low in part to guard against a drop in inflation that could prove damaging to future economic growth.

"These rates remain low", Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a news conference in late September.

The Federal Reserve's newly installed No. 2 official backed the US central bank's plans for some further gradual interest-rate increases and suggested policy makers won't change course in response to political pressure or recent stock market jitters. Some say Powell is the easiest Fed chair to deal with since Alan Greenspan, who was famed for his skill at navigating Washington's political scene.

All in all, the Fed is more likely to harden its policy rather than loosen it as a response to Trump's words. Though critics have blamed Trump's comments for the sharp fall in United States stock markets, White House officials have dismissed them as a natural correction after long run of rising share prices.

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Under the laws governing independent bodies such as the Fed, he would be hard-pressed to remove a Fed board member "for cause", language courts have ruled exclude policy disagreements. "And that's where the chairman of the Fed and the rest of us go out in public and talk about just why we undertook these actions, and hopefully people understand that".

National leaders' attempts at interfering with the interest rate policies of central banks have rarely gone down well with the market in the modern era of central bank independence. George H.W. Bush blamed his 1992 election defeat on then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, and Lyndon B. Johnson clashed with Fed chief William McChesney Martin over raising rates in 1965.

And, even if subtly, the Fed is taking its own pots shots at Trump, noting that the general confidence in growth prospects also faces a few potential obstacles one fiscal policy stimulus starts to wear off. Three of those increases were under Powell, a sitting Fed governor widely respected on Wall Street whom Trump chose to succeed Obama's pick, Janet Yellen. They noted that these were "unusual" comments by the President and that they will continue fulfilling their mandate. One risk is that if Trump persists in his criticism, investors may begin to wonder whether the Fed will continue to stand its ground, creating uncertainty about the direction of US monetary policy and potentially hurting market confidence.

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