Trump Lashes Out at ECB Easing as ‘Very Unfair’ to U.S.

US President Donald Trump, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend the panel discussion "Launch Event Women's Entrepreneur Finance Initiative" on the second day of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 8, 2017. (Patrik Stollarz/Pool Photo via AP)
Patrik Stollarz/Pool Photo via AP

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s signal that the bank would likely roll out a monetary stimulus package this summer sent the euro lower and President Donald Trump’s ire higher.

Europe has been grappling with a sluggish economy beset by low inflation. Speaking at an ECB research conference in Portugal on Tuesday, Draghi said the bank would announce further stimulative measures if the economic situation does not improve.

“In the absence of improvement, such that the sustained return of inflation to our aim is threatened, additional stimulus will be required, ” Draghi said.

This sent the euro down against the dollar and sent many European bond yields falling as well, in part because the ECB is expected by buy bonds as part of its stimulus package. A weaker euro makes European exports more attractive around the world.

Trump responded Tuesday morning with a tweet criticizing the ECB and China, who he said “have been getting away with this for years.”

President Trump has complained about the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening, which he said is making it more difficult to accelerate economic growth. The Fed hiked interest rates four times last year, including a controversial quarter-point hike in December that many believe has unnecessarily slowed the economy. The U.S. dollar has strengthened against both the euro and China’s currency.

Inflation has consistently fallen below the Fed’s two percent target this year. Market indicators show investors believe the Fed will need to cut interest rates up to three times this year to juice the price level back towards its target.

The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee, the Federal Open Markets Committee, begins its two-day June meeting Tuesday. It will issue a statement on Wednesday, perhaps indicating an intention to cut rates later this year. Fed chair Jerome Powell will hold a press conference to answer reporters’ questions on the Fed statement and policy.

Update: President Trump continued his complaints about the ECB monetary policy easing signal on Tuesday morning, complaining the move is “very unfair” to the United States.

 

 

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