U.S. Commerce Secretary says Fed’s last rate hike was ‘premature’: Bloomberg TV

Participants including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at a press preview event in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attends a press preview event of the upcoming Paris Air Show at the National Press Club in Washington, U.S. June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

June 12, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a television interview on Wednesday the Federal Reserve should reconsider its last rate increase, which he said was premature.

“I think the Fed taking a more cautious attitude on rates and reconsidering, in effect, the last rate increase that they put in, I think that’s good. I think they should reconsider. I think it’s quite likely that that last increase was, at best, premature,” Ross told Bloomberg TV.

After two days of policy-setting meetings this week, Fed officials will soon issue updated rate projections. The Fed has come under pressure in recent months amid President Donald Trump’s trade wars and other signs of economic weakness.

Additionally, Trump has repeatedly attacked the central bank, whose political independence is seen as key to the country’s economic stability.

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Susan Heavey and Bernadette Baum)

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