Fed official says US immigration crackdown could hit economy

NEW YORK, May 31 (Reuters) - The Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants will likely weaken overall U.S. consumer spending and economic growth as those targeted for arrest increasingly choose to stay home and save more, a Federal Reserve policymaker said on Wednesday.

Millions of immigrants "are not going out and shopping, they are staying home, they are afraid if they go out they are not coming home," Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's months old directive.

"On the margin - and it's too soon for the data to pick it up, but you hear it anecdotally - I believe we are going to see it, I believe those people are more likely to save than to spend," he added at the Council on Foreign Relations. "And those two effects have some muting effect on consumer spending and therefore GDP growth." (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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