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Mnuchin sees three pct growth at least for 4-5 years

WASHINGTON, July 29 (KUNA) -- US Secretary of State Steve Mnuchin said Sunday that the US is "definitely" headed for "sustained three percent growth at least" for a period of four or five years.
Mnuchin told Fox News network, "we can only project a couple years in the future, but I think we are well on this path for several years.
"I don't think this is a one or two year phenomenon. I think we definitely are in a period of four or five years of sustained three percent growth at least," he noted.
On President Donald Trump's recent criticism of the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, Mnuchin affirmed that the administration "absolutely support the independence of the Fed and the president has made it clear that this is the Fed's decision.
"Let me be clear, he absolutely respects the independence of the Fed, and the issue is the market expects interest rates to keep going up. So, the only question is how far, and for how long? And we think the Fed will be very careful in managing the economy," he reiterated.
He added that "the Fed has been targeting two percent inflation and obviously with two percent inflation, we have to have at least slightly higher interest rates to manage through that." Meanwhile, Mnuchin affirmed that the NAFTA talks "are back on track," saying "that's our number one priority now, to get NAFTA done." He added "we are going to negotiate piece by piece with the E.U. And, you know, we continue to have conversations with China. And we'll see where we get.
"These things have to be negotiated because the president is very clear, he doesn't just want talk, we need our counterparts to follow through and deliver, breaking down barriers and creating better opportunities so that we can reduce our giant trade deficit," he remarked.
For his part, Trump said in a tweet earlier today that "the biggest and best results coming out of the good GDP report was that the quarterly Trade Deficit has been reduced by USD 52 billion and, of course, the historically low unemployment numbers, especially for African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Women." The US economy recorded a 4.1 percent annualized growth rate in the second quarter of 2018, its highest level since 2014, according to US Commerce Department data released on Friday. (end) si.mt