The U.S. economy is doing well but not so much to meet the ambitious growth expectations of President Donald Trump, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday.
Asking if he thought growth could hit 3 percent or better, the former two-term central bank leader told CNBC, “On a sustained basis, it’s certainly possible, but not likely.”
Should Congress pass a tax cut, as Trump has proposed, “You might have a bump because of the increased consumer spending,” he said on “Squawk Box.”
However, if he were to bet on whether the economy would break the 3 percent barrier, Bernanke said, “I would take the under on that.”
Bernanke ran the Fed during the financial crisis that exploded in 2008. He is credited with devising some of the programs that brought the U.S. economy back from the brink.
However, he also has faced criticism for advocating low rates that helped fuel risk-taking, and famously doubted whether problems with mortgages given to less-than-qualified buyers would be a problem for the economy. The collapse of subprime mortgages fueled the crisis and the accompanying Great Recession.