President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on Federal Reserve policy makers, calling them "Boneheads" and urging that they cut interest rates and even consider taking short-term rates to zero or negative.
"The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we should then start to refinance our debt. INTEREST COST COULD BE BROUGHT WAY DOWN, while at the same time substantially lengthening the term," Trump said in a Twitter post on Wednesday, Efe news reported.
The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which sets the US central bank's interest rate policy, is scheduled to hold its next meeting September 17-18.
"It is only the naïveté of Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve that doesn't allow us to do what other countries are already doing. A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of 'Boneheads,'" Trump tweeted.
The president has been attacking Powell, who he named to head the Federal Reserve, and monetary policy makers for months for not cutting interest rates to stimulate the economy, which is still growing and boasts a strong labour market.
"We have the great currency, power, and balance sheet ... The USA should always be paying the the lowest rate. No Inflation!" Trump tweeted. On July 31, the FOMC cut the benchmark rate for the first time in 11 years, lowering it to a range of 2 per cent to 2.25 per cent.
The widely expected move marked the first reduction in the federal funds rate since the 2008 financial crisis. The central bank said US economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate, job gains have been solid and the unemployment rate has remained low, but it justified the move by citing "muted inflation pressures" and "implications of global developments for the economic outlook."
"The outlook for the US economy remains favourable, and this action is designed to support that outlook," Powell said in a news conference after the monetary policy action.
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