Happy Birthday Jay Powell: Fed Chief Had Dinner with Trump at the White House

Jerome Powell (R) speaks after being nominated for Chairman of the Federal Reserve by US President Donald Trump (L) in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on November 2, 2017
AFP/File SAUL LOEB

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell had dinner with President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday. It was the Fed chairman’s 66th birthday.

The Federal Reserve said the two men discussed recent economic developments and the outlook for growth, employment, and inflation. They did not discuss the future course of interest rates, a topic which until very recently was a source of contention between the president and the Fed.

“Chair Powell’s comments in this setting were consistent with his remarks at his press conference of last week,” the Fed said in a statement about the meeting.

Trump and Powell were joined by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida.

The dinner marks the first time Trump and Powell have met since Trump picked him for the top Fed job in November 2017. During the last three months of 2018, Trump was sharply critical of the Fed’s move to higher interest rates.

Whatever tensions might have existed between the two men may be a thing of the past now that the Fed has signaled it is no longer planning to raise rates. Last week, the Fed signaled that it planned to pause its rate hikes and would be “patient” before raising rates again, an announcement that sparked a huge rally on Wall Street. Many on Wall Street now expect the Fed’s next move will be to cut rates rather than raise, although that would not occur unless the economy appears to be significantly weakening.

–The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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