Anjali Sundaram | CNBC
Hours before withdrawing from consideration for the Federal Reserve board, Stephen Moore was quoted as saying he disagreed with President Donald Trump’s call for the central bank to sharply cut rates.
“I’m not so sure I agree with the White House that we should cut rates by an entire percentage point,” Moore told Bloomberg News on Thursday. “I just don’t see the case for that right now.”
On Thursday afternoon, Trump announced that Moore had withdrawn his name from consideration for the board.
“Steve Moore, a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person, has decided to withdraw from the Fed process,” Trump tweeted.
Moore made his comments two days after Trump called for a 1% cuts to the Fed’s overnight rate and urged for more quantitative easing, which are the measures used by the central bank to stimulate the economy after the financial crisis.
In a series of tweets, Trump said the U.S. economy would go up “like a rocket” if the Fed loosened monetary policy.
Trump’s call for lower rates came after the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew at an annualized pace of 3.2% in the first quarter. That was the best start to a year since 2015.
On Wednesday, the Fed kept interest rates unchanged, citing lackluster inflation. However, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said low inflationary pressures may just be “transitory,” hinting inflation could pick up.
The Fed raised rates four times in 2018. The last rate hike was followed by a massive sell-off in the equity market and then a sharp rebound.
Moore added he “could make the case for repealing the rate hike that took place in December” since the economy was slowing at that point.
Trump had not submitted Moore’s name as a Fed governor. Plans to do so ran into trouble due to controversial statements unearthed from Moore’s past.
Despite growing opposition from both parties, Moore had said he would not withdraw his name from consideration, as Hermain Cain was forced to do recently following controversy and indications that he did not have sufficient Republican support to make it through a confirmation hearing.
“”I’m not pulling out,” Moore told The Wall Street Journal in a report published Thursday morning. Moore said he had spoken with a White House official who encouraged him to continue with the process.
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