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Trump calls Yellen 'impressive' as replacement choice looms

[WASHINGTON] President Donald Trump on Wednesday called Fed chair Janet Yellen "very impressive," as his choice for a possible successor loomed.

"I have it down to two or three people," Mr Trump told Fox Business.

Ms Yellen, who was named by Barack Obama in 2014, is set to wrap up her term in early April. And Mr Trump was not short on praise.

"She was in my office a few days ago. She is very impressive. I like her a lot. I would certainly think about it," the US president went on.

"I would like to say you (as president) would like to make your own mark, which is maybe one of the things she has a little bit against her.

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"But I think she is terrific. We had a great talk. And we are obviously doing very well together, looking at the markets," Mr Trump stressed.

For most presidents, giving Ms Yellen another four-year term would be the obvious move: unemployment is falling, inflation is low and, despite whipsawing hurricanes, the economy is growing.

By any measure, Ms Yellen has performed exceedingly well.

Still, betting markets currently expect Mr Trump to pass over Ms Yellen - making him the first president not to retain the incumbent Fed chair since Jimmy Carter dumped Arthur Burns in favor of G William Miller while US inflation skyrocketed in 1978.

That would mean changing horses midstream, even though the economy is the one area of smooth sailing for an administration broadly engulfed in turmoil.

She also is a favoured target of Republican lawmakers that Mr Trump may need to govern and who believe interest rates should be higher but regulations reduced.


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