U.S. Markets

Trump to meet Yellen Thursday in search for new Fed chair: source

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the 'Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress' on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday as part of his search for a new candidate for her position, a source familiar with the planned meeting said.

On Thursday, a White House official said Trump had met with Stanford University economist John Taylor to discuss the job.

Trump is working from a short list that also includes Jerome Powell, a Fed governor; Kevin Warsh, a former Fed governor; Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn; and Yellen, whose term expires in February, sources have said.

White House chief of staff John Kelly said on Thursday Trump is “some time away” from a decision on who should chair the Federal Reserve.

“There’s still ongoing ... interviews,” Kelly told reporters. “All of the people that have been in to interview have been really first round draft choices, and we have more to come,” he said.

Trump told reporters late last month he had met with four candidates to lead the U.S. central bank and would make a decision “over the next two or three weeks.” Kelly’s remarks suggest a somewhat longer time frame.

A White House official said Trump met with Taylor on Wednesday to discuss the job, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and other members of the team helping in the search. Last month, Trump met with former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh.

A new Fed chair would take the helm as the central bank eases well away from crisis-era policies in response to a strengthening economy and falling unemployment, though inflation still lingers below the Fed’s 2 percent goal.

Under Yellen, the Fed has raised interest rates and launched a plan to shrink its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, much of which was accumulated through a bond-buying program that Yellen said helped the economy avert an even deeper downturn.

Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and David Gregorio