Washington - U.S. President Donald Trump once again lashed out at the Federal Reserve on Tuesday, this time in the wake of weak data on the manufacturing sector, saying the central bank has kept interest rates "too high" and that a strong dollar is hurting U.S. factories.
"As I predicted, Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve have allowed the Dollar to get so strong, especially relative to ALL other currencies, that our manufacturers are being negatively affected. Fed Rate too high. They are their own worst enemies, they don't have a clue. Pathetic!" Trump wrote.
Trump's comments came on the heels of a report from the Institute for Supply Management on Tuesday showing U.S. manufacturing activity plunged to its weakest level in a decade last month, amid concerns about the trajectory of the U.S.-China trade war.
ISM said comments from manufacturers "reflect a continuing decrease in business confidence," and also noted that "global trade remains the most significant issue," suggesting Trump's hardline approach to trade is a bigger worry for them than U.S. interest rates or dollar strength.
Trump has been relentless in criticizing the Fed and Jerome Powell, whom he appointed to head the central bank, for the relatively high level of U.S. interest rates compared with other developed countries. Central banks in Europe and Japan have pushed their own interest rates below zero in a bid to boost their struggling economies.