President Donald Trump on Sunday praised the Federal Reserve’s move to slash interest rates to near zero in an bid to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic, calling it a “big step.”
“It makes me very happy, Trump said in a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room. “And I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve.”
The last time the Fed cut rates so low was during the global financial crisis just more than a decade ago.
“That’s really great for our country,” Trump proclaimed. “It’s something that we’re very happy, I have to say this, I’m very happy. And they did it in one step, they didn’t do it in four steps over a long period of time. They did it in one step and I think that people in the market should be very thrilled.”
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He added: “we’re the strongest country in the world by far, financially and every other way. And that brings us in line with what other countries are.”
The Fed said Sunday it would hold rates steady near zero until it is confident that the US economy pulls out of the coronavirus-fueled economic quagmire.
While the underlying US economy has remained on solid ground, the Fed said the coronavirus outbreak has significantly hurt the global financial conditions.
In addition to rate cuts, the Fed also said it would purchase another $700 billion worth of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
It also struck a deal with the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank to lower their rates on currency swaps to keep the financial markets functioning normally.
CNN’s David Goldman contributed to this report.