Trump Blasts Fed Chief Powell: No Guts, No Sense, No Vision!
Trump Blasts Fed Chief Powell: No Guts, No Sense, No Vision!
Japan central bank stands pat after Fed rate cut AP18 Sep 2019
19 September, 2019, 04:11
A sharply divided US Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time this year while saying it's prepared to continue doing what it deems necessary to sustain the US economic expansion.
Citing the global economic outlook and "muted" inflationary pressures at home, the central bank chose to lower interest rates a quarter of a point to meet a target borrowing rate of 1.75% to 2%.
"Trade developments have been up and down and then up, I guess, back up perhaps over the course of this interview", Powell said in a reference to Trump's sometimes unpredictable trade war with China and, on occasion, other countries. "No 'guts, ' no sense, no vision!"
Tucked into Fed Chair Jerome Powell's news conference on Wednesday was a not-so-subtle message for President Donald Trump: the economy is holding up because the USA central bank has acted to support it through a volatile patch, and whether that continues is now in the president's lap.
Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis President James Bullard wanted a more aggressive half-point cut, while Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Kansas City Fed President Esther George preferred to leave rates where they are, and not cut at all. They believe inflation will rise closer to their 2% target, the level it considers healthy for the economy. The economy is expected at the median to grow 2.2% this year, up from the earlier forecast of 2.1%.
Investors are expecting a small cut to rates and will be watching for any clues about what the Fed does next.
The economy appears durable in its 11th year of growth, with a still-solid job market and steady consumer spending.
In lowering the benchmark overnight lending rate to a range of 1.75 per cent to 2.00 per cent on a 7-3 vote, the Fed's policy-setting committee nodded to ongoing global risks and "weakened" business investment and exports.
Policymakers now anticipate the United States economy will grow slightly stronger than previously expected, at a 2.2% rate, and unemployment will hold steady at 3.7%, according to their updated economic projections. Even if the Fed only allows the balance sheet to expand to meet the public's demand for cash and satisfy banks' apparently larger-than-expected demand for reserves, it could at the margin ease financial conditions.
Updated economic and interest rate forecasts issued Wednesday (local time) by the Fed show that seven of 17 officials foresee one additional rate cut this year, rather than the two or more that many investors have been expecting.
For the second time in as many days, the Federal Reserve Bank of NY is stepping in to free up billions of dollars to avert spiking overnight borrowing costs.
Though the USA economy continues growing at a "moderate" rate and the labor market "remains strong", the Fed said in its policy statement that it was cutting rates "in light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures".
For older Americans who rely more on savings, the interest rate will mean they will have slightly less payout from their accounts, although some banks offer higher rates than others. It was the first time such an action was taken since 2008.
The U.S. benchmark for crude oil is down 29 cents at $59.05 a barrel after Saudi authorities said 50% of the production cut by the attack on its oil processing plant has been restored.
Two members wanted to hold the rate steady, while one wanted to cut further. A resumption of trade talks and a less antagonistic tone between Washington and Beijing have supported that view.
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