White House: Trump plans to make choice for Fed next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that he has someone “very specific in mind” to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve and he will be announcing his choice next week.

“It will be a person who hopefully will do a fantastic job,” Trump said in a video address he tweeted out late Friday. “I think everybody will be very impressed. But most importantly, I think at the end of eight years, you really will be impressed because things are looking good.”

Trump did not give any hints about the person he has selected but various media reports Friday said that current Fed Chair Janet Yellen most likely will not be offered a second term and Trump is instead leaning toward Jay Powell, a Fed board member who up until recently was the only Republican on the Fed board.

Asked about those reports during a White House briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she could confirm that the announcement is expected next week but “beyond that I don’t have any other details to offer.”

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In the video remarks he tweeted out, Trump said he knew that “people are anxiously awaiting my decision as to who the next head of the Fed will be.”

Yellen’s four-year term ends in February. Trump earlier this week said his choice was down to “two and maybe three people.” That group is believed to include Yellen, Powell and John Taylor, a Stanford University economist.

The group of finalists had originally also included former Fed board member Kevin Warsh and Gary Cohn, head of the president’s National Economic Council. But the White House let it be known this week that Trump wanted to keep Cohn in his current job to help push the administration’s tax cut plan through Congress.

Trump said in the video that things were looking good for the country and the U.S. economy. Earlier in the day, the government reported that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the July-September quarter after 3.1 percent growth in the second quarter. It was the strongest back-to-back quarters of GDP growth in three years.

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“We’ve got a lot of jobs coming into our country. Go out and get a good one,” Trump said in the video. “Wages are going up, the economy is strong. Have fun. God bless America.”