Powell Tells Trump Rate Decisions Will Be Based On Non-Political Analysis

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday, with the central bank chief telling the president monetary policy decisions will remain non-political.

A statement from the Fed said Powell and Trump had an informal dinner to discuss recent economic developments and the outlook for growth, employment and inflation.

Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also attended the meeting, which came after months of Trump criticizing the central bank for raising interest rates.

The Fed said Powell did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming economic information and what that means for the outlook.

Powell also told Trump the Fed’s interest rate decisions will based solely on “careful, objective and non-political analysis.”

The meeting between Powell and Trump, which was the first since the Fed chief was sworn in, comes after the central bank indicated last week it will take a “patient” approach to monetary policy.

The Fed statement released last Wednesday dropped a reference to plans for further gradual interest rate increases, leading to suggestions Powell caved to Trump’s demands.

However, in his subsequent press conference, Powell stressed that the Fed is “never going to take political considerations into account or discuss them as part of our work.

“You know, we’re human. We make mistakes, but we’re not going to make mistakes of character or integrity,” he added. “And I would want the public to know that and I would want them to see that in our actions.”

Trump told the Washington Post last November that he is “not even a little bit happy” with Powell, although the Fed chief later claimed he would not resign even if asked to do so by the president.

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