Trump wants Fed to cut interest rates by full percentage point

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WASHINGTON (DPA) - US President Donald Trump says he would like to see the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a full percentage point or more, claiming that the economy would be doing better if the central bank listened to his advice.

"I would love to see a point or even a little bit more than that," Trump said, when asked by reporters outside the White House on Friday (Aug 9) how much he would like to see the Fed cut rates.

Trump said that if rates were cut, the economy would take off like a "rocket ship," while bemoaning that the federal government's economic policy was being "handcuffed" by the central bank.

The Federal Reserve last month cut its interest rate target by a quarter of a percentage point, the first cut since 2008.

Central bank chief Jerome Powell would not commit to further loosening policy, describing the last move as only a "midcycle adjustment."

Trump repeated his criticism from earlier this week that the dollar was too strong and thereby hurting manufacturers focused on the export market, but also appeared to walk back some of his previous comments, saying: "We have the greatest currency in the world."

The president's remarks on rate cuts is the most specific he has been so far, but is just his latest criticism of the central bank.

All living former Fed chiefs have issued a call for the independence of the institution, in a letter seen as critical of Trump.

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