Trump again pushes Fed to cut rates

Comments made after solid June jobs report

By Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Getty Images

(CNN) - President Donald Trump on Friday renewed his calls for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, despite a surprisingly strong jobs report.

"If we had a Fed that would lower interest rates, we would be like a rocket ship," Trump said, predicting the economy would boom even more if interest rates were lower.

The US economy added 224,000 jobs in June, a sharp uptick from disappointing numbers in May, according to the latest report Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The central bank has held rates steady, backing off a plan to steadily raise them this year but taking a cautious approach to avoid setting off inflation.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell last month signaled openness to one or even two rate cuts before the end of 2019 amid global economic turmoil caused in part by Trump's trade wars with China and the European Union.

Trump, however, has broken with presidential precedent by publicly criticizing Fed policy as "loco" following rate hikes last year. The president has asked staff about firing Powell, a former investment banker appointed by Trump, and last month declined to rule out demoting him.

Speaking on his way to his New Jersey golf club, the president also claimed that the strong economy is making it more difficult for the military to recruit.

"Our jobs numbers are so good that the military has a hard time getting people," Trump said.

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