‘Political considerations’ have played no role in decision-making

Mark Wilson | Getty Images

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference on December 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. The US Federal Reserve raised the short-term interest rates by a quarter percentage point on Wednesday, the fourth increase of the year, and signaled two more hikes could come in 2019.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell denied Wednesday that the central bank’s decision-making has been influenced by any political pressure.

“Political considerations play no role whatsoever in our discussions or decisions about monetary policy. We’re always going to be focused on the mission that Congress has given us,” Powell said. “We have the tools to carry it out, we have the independence that we think is essential to be able to do our jobs in a nonpolitical way. We at the Fed are absolutely committed to that mission, and nothing will deter us from doing what we think is the right thing to do.”

President Donald Trump has lambasted the U.S. central bank multiple times over the past year. The president is openly critical of the Fed, going so far as to say the Fed has “gone crazy” with monetary policy. That has caused concern among some, as Trump’s criticism of the Fed is largely without precedent in U.S. history.

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