Fed should keep cutting rates despite jobs number: U.S. trade adviser Navarro

FILE PHOTO: White House trade adviser Peter Navarro listens to a news conference about a presidential executive order relating to military veterans outside of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, U.S. March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro said in a television interview on Friday the low U.S. unemployment rate and steady job growth should not deter the Federal Reserve from lowering interest rates.

The Labor Department on Friday reported that the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to a near 50-year low of 3.5% last month and job growth increased moderately, though wage growth remained stagnant and manufacturing payrolls declined.

“This number, even though it’s a very good number, should not deter the Federal Reserve from aggressively lowering its rates for one simple reason – not because the economy is slowing down – but because our dollar is so overvalued, it’s killing our exports,” Navarro said in the CNN interview.

Navarro’s comments come as economic data has raised concerns about a looming slowdown amid a trade war marked most notably by tit-for-tat tariffs between the United States and China.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly urged the Fed to slash interest rates and said a strong dollar is hurting U.S. factories.

Reporting by Makini Brice; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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