President Donald Trump criticized the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, claiming that economic growth in the U.S. would have been higher than 3% and the stock market would be 7,000 to 10,000 points higher.
“But they wanted to raise interest rates,” Trump said, according to CNN. “You’ll explain that to me.”
Trump was speaking at a meeting of Japanese business leaders in Tokyo during his state visit to Japan on Saturday. The president has made similar claims in the past.
The Fed raised rates four times in 2018, but pivoted after markets fell late last year. The central bank held rates steady at its March meeting and minutes released last week showed it does not expect any hikes “for some time.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized the Fed for raising rates, singling out Chairman Jerome Powell for criticism. In April, the president called for the central bank to lower rates by one percentage point and to implement more quantitative easing.
After a strong start to 2019, the stock market has become volatile after U.S.-China trade talks collapsed and Trump escalated the trade war with Beijing.
Trump has increased tariffs on $ 200 billion worth of Chinese goods, threatened to slap tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports to the U.S. and has blacklisted key Chinese tech company Huawei.
Though the Dow closed up 95.22 points at 25,585.69 on Friday, it was still down 0.7% for the week. That marks the Dow’s fifth consecutive weekly decline, its longest streak since 2011.
And J.P Morgan economists, meanwhile, have slashed their second-quarter growth forecasts to just 1% amid uncertainty over the outcome of the trade war. That forecast is down from the bank’s previous expectation of 2.25% and nowhere near the 3.2% growth reported in the first quarter.