July 6 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump criticized the Federal Reserve Saturday for raising interest rates, saying the U.S. economy would be "like a rocket ship" if we didn't have to pay unnecessary interest.
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates four times in 2018, the latest being Dec. 20 when it was raised between 2.24 percent and 2.5 percent. The Fed has kept interest rates steady so far in 2019. The Federal Reserve's next policy meeting is set for July 30 and the decisions made there could determine the health of the economy, which is critical to Trump's reelection bid.
Trump was touting the "unexpectedly good" June jobs report where the U.S. economy added 224,000 jobs, exceeding expectations after a dismal May.
"Strong jobs report, low inflation and other countries around the world doing anything possible to take advantage of the United States, knowing that our Federal Reserve doesn't have a clue!" Trump tweeted late early Saturday morning. "As well as we are doing from the day after the great Election, when the market shot right up, it could have been better -- massive additional wealth would have been created & used very well. Our most difficult problem is not our competitors, it is the Federal Reserve!"
Trump has said previously that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has stunted economic growth through his policies.
Trump appointed Powell to lead the Fed and his term ends in 2022. In his defense, Powell has said the Fed is an independent bank "insulated from short-term political pressures."
Trump has said he could remove Powell "if I wanted to, but I have no plans to do anything." The Federal Reserve Act requires a president to have cause before removing a Fed chair.
This month, the U.S economy set a record for most consecutive months of economic growth --121-- without a recession. The streak goes back 10 years and is the longest in modern U.S. history.