White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Thursday suggested that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell could stand to "lighten up a little" after Mr. Powell warned this week that the nascent economic recovery from the coronavirus-related shutdowns could end up being long and slow.
"I do think Mr. Powell could lighten up a little when he has these press offerings — a smile now and then, a little bit of optimism, OK," Mr. Kudlow said on Fox Business Network.
"I'll talk with him and we'll have some media training at some point," he said, continuing a critique that might have been somewhat tongue-in-cheek. "But basically, I don't see the Fed as an obstacle here."
Mr. Kudlow praised the Federal Reserve's projections this week that the central bank would keep its benchmark interest rates at or near zero until at least 2022.
He also pointed out the Labor Department reported 1.5 million initial unemployment claims for the previous week on Thursday, continuing a string of weekly declines even as the overall numbers since the virus took hold remain at historically high levels.
The U.S. unemployment rate also unexpectedly dropped to 13.3% in May.
"I think we're going to get more and more green shoots," Mr. Kudlow said.
President Trump had said earlier Thursday that the Federal Reserve "is wrong so often" and predicted strong third and fourth quarters for the U.S. economy.
Central bankers had released a median projection on Wednesday that U.S. GDP would drop 6.5% in 2020 before rebounding to increase by 5% in 2021 and 3.5% in 2022.
The Fed also saw the U.S. unemployment rate falling to 9.3% by the end of the year.
As Mr. Kudlow spoke, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 1,100 points, or about 4%, amid fears of a mini-resurgence of the coronavirus in some parts of the country.
He said he doesn't want to downplay new cases, coronavirus-related deaths or the lingering unemployment numbers.
"But I do want to say with this market this morning that the trends are pointing upward," he said, predicting 20% growth in the third and fourth quarters and at least 4% growth in 2021.
"I know today's a rough day, but I don't think today is the last word," he said. "We're still 40% above the March 23 low."