The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for raising interest rates, breaking with recent presidents’ practice of not commenting on the Fed’s handling of the economy.

“I’m not thrilled with his raising of interest rates, no. I’m not thrilled,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters. He urged the Fed to avoid doing anything that could slow economic growth.

The benchmark U.S. interest rate, which plays a large role in setting borrowing costs for mortgages, credit cards, small business and auto loans, was set at a range of 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent when Trump was sworn in. The benchmark rate is now in a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent, and the Fed has indicated it is likely to hikes rates two more times before the end of the year.

Trump since July has repeatedly criticized the Fed, an independent body that is not controlled by Congress or the president. Powell, a Republican, has repeatedly said that he believes in the Fed’s independence.

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