The Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, has responded to reports that Donald Trump is seeking to fire or demote him.

“I think the law is clear that I have a four-year term, and I fully intend to serve it,” Powell said on Wednesday after a two-day meeting of the Fed.

Trump has publicly berated Powell and the Fed and explicitly called on the central bank to cut rates, an unprecedented move that challenges the Fed’s supposed independence from political interference.

Powell refused to be drawn further on Trump’s comments saying he does not “discuss elected officials publicly or privately”.

“At the Fed, we’re deeply committed to carrying out our mission and also that our independence from direct political control we see as an important institutional feature that has served both the economy and the country well,” he said.

His comments came a day after it emerged Trump had discussed demoting Powell.

Trump has also previously praised China’s central bank, which is controlled by the government, and said the US economy would be doing better “if we had somebody different” at the Fed.

The Fed did not give in to pressure to change rates, leaving the federal-funds rate in a range between 2.25% and 2.5%

But the Fed said “uncertainties” about the economic outlook had increased, signalling there may be rate rises to come in the near future.


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