U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photographer: Ron Sachs/Pool via Bloomberg)

Trump Says U.S. Economy Doing Well Despite ‘Destructive’ Fed

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump fired a fresh broadside at the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates last year, saying the economy is in good shape “despite the unnecessary and destructive actions” taken by the central bank.

In a tweet early Thursday, Trump added that trade agreements with China, Canada and Mexico are “moving along nicely, there is little or no Inflation, and USA optimism is very high.”

The latest missive follows months of harsh criticism over last year’s rate hikes. It comes on the heels of reports saying the president called Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on March 8 as concerns that day about the U.S. job market helped send stocks to their biggest weekly drop of the year.

The Fed last month scrapped expectations for rate hikes this year as it monitors how slowing global growth affects the U.S. economy. While the central bank and most private economists expect the pace of U.S. expansion to cool this year from last year’s 3 percent pace, Trump has indicated he wants no slowdown.

Last week, Trump’s senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow urged the Fed to reduce rates by a half percentage point. That followed a similar call from Stephen Moore, whom the president has said he will nominate to the Fed’s seven-member board.

A report Thursday supported the case that the economy is in good shape with scant evidence of harm by the Fed. Filings for unemployment benefits fell last week to 202,000, the lowest figure since 1969, according to the Labor Department. That suggests the job market is in better shape than the weak February payrolls figure indicated.

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