Fed Chief Jerome Powell Says He Won't Resign If Trump Asks

Powell January 4 2019 EURUSD chart jumping

Powell January 4 2019 EURUSD chart jumping

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday said he would not resign if President Donald Trump asked him to do so.

At the conference on Friday, Mr Powell said he has not spoken directly to Mr Trump and would not resign if asked.

Invoking events of 2016, when the Fed held rates unchanged through most of the year amid financial market turmoil spurred by concerns over slower growth in China, Powell said he's "listening sensitively to the message that markets are sending" about downside risks to growth. He also says that the Fed could alter its approach to trimming its huge balance sheet if it determines such a change is needed.

Speaking at the American Economic Association's annual meeting, Powell waved off criticisms from the Oval Office, such as when Trump said he was "not even a little bit happy" with Powell's performance, saying he had not received any direct communication from the White House about the Fed's actions, including recent rate hikes.

The Dow Jones blue chip index rose by 600 points following the.

Powell called the jobs report "very strong" and said he was also encouraged by the rise in the labour force participation rate and gains in wages, which he said "for me at this time does not raise concerns about too high inflation".

US Economy Smashes Expectations Adding 312,000 Jobs in December
The health care, food services, construction and manufacturing sectors were the primary contributors to last month's hiring. According to CNBC , "Job creation ended 2018 on a powerful note, with nonfarm payrolls surging by 312,000 in December".

Trump, who picked Powell to head the Fed starting last February, has been intensely and publically critical of Powell's Fed and Powell personally, accusing him of hurting the economy by raising rates. Under the law that governs the Federal Reserve, a president can only remove a Fed chairman for cause. "Meetings between the presidents and the Fed chairs do happen", he said.

Powell called the December jobs report "very strong" and said USA data seems "to be on track to sustain good momentum into the new year".

Investors have grown nervous in recent months, anxious in part about moves by the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates, despite signs of a global growth slowdown.

US stocks were pummelled on Thursday after Apple slashed its revenue forecast due to weak demand in China and a report showed US manufacturing activity slumping to a two-year low, reviving fears about a global economic slowdown in the wake of the US-China trade war.

On Friday, the Labor Department reported the United States added 312,000 jobs in December, much above analyst expectations. "The Fed has wilfully ignored trade and interest rate risks while talking a hawkish game".

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