President Trump Donald John TrumpGOP Senators Extend Long-Term Trial Warren Goes Local to Build 2020 Movement 2020 Democrats Play for Veterans' Votes MORE Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell mocks refusing to lower interest rates while pointing out Walmart's better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.
In a tweet, the president pointed to Walmart's "big numbers", noting that the retail chain has managed to avoid raising prices despite Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods. ] “Walmart announces big numbers. No impact from tariffs (contributing billions of dollars to the Treasury). Inflation low (do you hear Powell?)! "Trump tweeted less than an hour before Powell planned to appear before a House committee.
Walmart announces large numbers. No impact from tariffs (contributing billions of dollars to the Treasury). Inflation low (do you hear Powell?)!
̵1; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2019
Trump's tweet is the latest in more than a year of spikes and attacks intended to push the Fed to cut interest rates and stimulate the economy. The president has pushed the independent central bank to go and cheaper the US dollar to support its trade deals.
The Fed has cut interest rates three times in 2019 after hiking it four times last year, in part because of mounting costs for Trump's tariffs. Trump has demanded that the Fed go ahead to match almost zero or negative interest rates seen in countries teeming with recession.
The Fed has never lowered interest rates below 0 percent and has only zeroed out interest rates in times of severe crisis. Powell told lawmakers Wednesday that it would not make sense to match ultra-low interest rates while the US economy still enjoyed near-record unemployment.
“Our economy is in a strong position. We are growing. We have a strong consumer sector. We have inflation slightly below target, ”Powell said.
"So the very, very low and even negative prices we see around the world would not be appropriate for our country."
The US economy has remained resilient amid a sharp decline in global economic growth, fruitless attempts to ease trade tensions, and widespread geopolitical turmoil. While business investment, industry and exports have been declining throughout the year, the United States continues to maintain low unemployment and strong consumer confidence.
Powell on Wednesday said the United States should be able to keep steady and expand a record stretch of economic growth. Economists broadly agree that the United States is facing lower odds of a recession now than when fears peaked over the summer, although new tariffs could quickly change that dynamic.
Trump has already introduced tariffs for more than $ 350 billion in Chinese goods and is set to levy a new round of import taxes on December 15. Economists warn that pending tariffs of more than $ 100 billion in essential consumer goods from China could raise prices and prevent vulnerable consumers.