The Latest: Powell: No comment on Yellen criticism of Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony to Congress (all times local):
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell did not want to go anywhere near critical comments his predecessor Janet Yellen made about President Donald Trump.
Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, Powell was asked if he agreed with comments Yellen made in a radio interview Monday that she did not believe Trump had a good grasp of economic policy.
Powell replied to Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, with a terse, “I don’t have any comment on that for you, senator.”
Powell came under heavy criticism by Trump last year when the stock market was falling sharply, and the president was blaming the Fed’s interest rate hikes for the decline. But earlier this month, Trump invited Powell to what was described as a cordial dinner at the White House.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the U.S. economy should keep expanding at a solid, though somewhat slower pace this year. But he warns of growing risks, including a global slowdown, volatile financial markets and uncertainty about U.S. trade policy.
In delivering the Fed’s semiannual monetary report to Congress, Powell says the Fed will be “patient” in determining when to boost its benchmark policy rate in light of the various “crosscurrents and conflicting signals.” He says the Fed’s rate decisions will be “data dependent” as the economic outlook evolves.
The Fed in December indicated it could hike rates two times this year, after four rate hikes in 2018. But many private economists believe the Fed will keep rates unchanged until late this year and may not hike at all.