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Exclusive: Trump says it would be foolish for Fed to raise rates next week

Exclusive: Trump says it would be foolish for Fed to raise rates next week
U.S. President Donald Trump sits for an exclusive interview with Reuters journalists in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst -
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JONATHAN ERNST(Reuters)
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday it would be a mistake if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates when it meets next week, as it is expected to do, continuing his criticism of the U.S. central bank.

“I think that would be foolish, but what can I say?” Trump told Reuters in an interview.

Trump added that he needed the flexibility of lower interest rates to support the broader U.S. economy as he fights a growing trade battle against China, and potentially other countries.

“You have to understand, we’re fighting some trade battles and we’re winning. But I need accommodation too,” he said.

Trump named Jerome Powell as Fed chairman, but has repeatedly railed against him since he took over as head of the U.S. central bank last February. Trump in August told Reuters that he was not “thrilled” with Powell’s raising interest rates.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton, Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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