Trump widens Fed critique, calls it 'my biggest threat'

Interest rate increases ripple through the economy, making loans more expensive for businesses and consumers and thereby slowing investment and spending. Central bank officials were unified in voting last month to boost rates by a quarter point, the Fed's account of its September policy meeting shows. 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.

The Fed has raised interest rates three times this year as it seeks to prevent a vibrant economy from overheating.

The central bank continues to have a bullish outlook on the US economy, and praised "robust increases" in household income, the minutes show.

Last week, Trump criticized the Fed twice, saying it was restraining credit so swiftly that it threatened the country's economic health. "Because the Fed is raising rates too fast".

USA presidents usually remain silent on such issues in respect toward the Fed's independence. Trump denied having direct contact with Powell since nominating him.

"My biggest threat is the Fed, because the Fed is raising rates too fast", he told FOX Business Network's Trish Regan.

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Trump added he is not trying to oust or blame Powell, whom he appointed to replace former Chair Janet Yellen.

The Fed independently makes policy decisions but regularly reports to Congress.

Trump said he doesn't speak with Chairman Jerome Powell because of the Fed's political independence but said.

"Participants generally anticipated that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate would most likely be consistent with a sustained economic expansion, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near 2 percent over the medium term", the Fed's minutes said.

But "I don't think the fact that he has publicly criticized the Fed, in any way shape or form, is going to impinge upon (its) independence", he told Reuters.

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