Trump targets 'pathetic' Federal Reserve after worst manufacturing reading in a decade

“They are their own worst enemies, they don’t have a clue,” he wrote. “Pathetic!”
Image: Jerome Powell
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference after a Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Sept. 18, 2019 in Washington.Olivier Douliery / AFP - Getty Images file

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By Jacob Pramuk, CNBC

President Donald Trump again attacked the Federal Reserve on Tuesday after the weakest U.S. manufacturing reading in 10 years.

In a tweet, the president wrote Fed Chair Jerome Powell and the central bank “have allowed the Dollar to get so strong, especially relative to ALL other currencies, that our manufacturers are being negatively affected.” He argued the Fed has set interest rates “too high.”

“They are their own worst enemies, they don’t have a clue,” he wrote. “Pathetic!”

Data released this week showed that manufacturing has slumped to the lowest level in more than 10 years in September as exports dived amid the escalated trade war.

The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index from the Institute for Supply Management plunged to 47.8 percent in September, the lowest since June 2009, marking the second consecutive month of contraction. Any figure below 50 percent signals a contraction.

“We have now tariffed our way into a manufacturing recession in the U.S. and globally,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group.

Stocks gave back initial gains on Tuesday, the first trading day of the fourth quarter, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading 214 points lower. The S&P 500 slid to trade 0.6 percent lower. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.4 percent.