Fed risks Trump's fury over rate increases

Screenshot  FOX Business

Screenshot FOX Business

Bullard also feels the Fed should not "pencil in" rate increases far into the future because of the uncertainty around forecasts, and the confusion that can cause among investors and households.

In putting Beijing and five other US trading partners on notice, the Treasury again refrained from escalating a fight over China's currency as US President Donald Trump had once pledged to do on the campaign trail.

Furthermore, "some" at the meeting said risks grew as the USA economy increasingly outpaced its rivals" more sluggish growth "because of the potential for further strengthening of the dollar'. The display of unanimity could bolster expectations the central bank will raise rates a fourth time this year in December.

US stock prices recovered some earlier losses but were still down for the day following the minutes.

On the other hand, while risks were 'roughly balanced, ' some Fed members said instability in emerging economies - many of which are heavily indebted and vulnerable when United States rates rise - could 'spread more broadly through the global economy and financial markets'.

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However at meetings of the International Monetary Fund in Bali, Indonesia last week, China's central bank governor Yi Gang said that Beijing would not engage in "competitive devaluation" or use the exchange rate as a "tool to deal with trade frictions". Rather, some of the central bankers appeared to see some indications of a stronger USA economy. "But Trump's Treasury secretary has chosen to rely on criteria created by previous administrations to ensure no action is taken".

"Almost all participants saw little change in their assessment of the economic outlook, although a few of them judged that recent data pointed to a pace of economic activity that was stronger than they expected earlier in the year", according to the minutes.

A growing US economy and falling unemployment have also whipped up demand among US consumers for imported goods, with 2017's record US-China trade deficit continuing to widen this year - swelling 3.2 per cent to us$390 billion in the 12 months ending in June.

Under Powell, the Fed has been gradually raising rates as the economy has strengthened as a way to prevent a run-up in inflation. Despite his criticism of the Fed's policymaking, Trump's picks have been seen as representing the mainstream of economic thinking about how a central bank should manage interest rates.

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