Donald Trump yesterday said interest rates set by the Federal Reserve are inflating the stock market and recommended US employees with 401(k) pension plans to get out of equities, just like he did.
“I did invest and I got out, and it was actually very good timing,” he said. “But I’ve never been a big investor in the stock market.
“Interest rates are artificially low. The only reason the stock market is where it is is because you get free money.”
Mr Trump said the market would “go great” if he were elected as the 45th US president in November.
His comments come amid growing tension between him and Republicans concerned that his inflammatory rhetoric — most recently about the parents of a slain American soldier — are hurting the party’s chances against Democrats led by Hillary Clinton.
The Fed has kept the benchmark federal funds rate at 0.25% to 0.5% since a quarter-point increase in December that ended seven years of near-zero rates.
Central bankers are taking stock of the economy’s progress in the wake of the UK’s vote in June to leave the EU, as well as the large swing from May’s soft labour report to June’s rebound.
Mr Trump reiterated his view that the unemployment rate is even higher than officially reported, saying it is closer to 20% than to 5%.
He said his plans to boost infrastructure spending and cut taxes to 15% or less will boost hiring and lift economic growth to more than 4%.
He noted that US companies have stockpiled over $2trn offshore to avoid paying US income taxes due when the money returns to the US.
“A lot of companies are leaving in order to get their money, they’re leaving because taxes are too high,” Mr Trump said. “Just bringing that money in will be tremendous.”
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