Finance

Gates says global economic slowdown coming sooner or later

Microsoft founder Bill Gates said rising inflation and interest rates in Western economies would drive the world toward an economic slowdown “eventually.”

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria asked Gates how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the resulting rise in energy and food prices, would impact the global economic outlook.

“It comes on top of the pandemic where government debt levels were already very, very high and there were already some sort of supply chain problems,” Gates said on “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

The philanthropist and billionaire added “it’s likely to accelerate the inflationary problems” and “force an increase in interest rates that eventually will result in an economic slowdown.”

So I’m afraid that the bears on this one have a pretty strong argument that concerns me al lot,” he said, noting that “when the rich countries have these big budget problems, the health needs of places like Africa get deprioritized.”

Last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its baseline interest rate range by 0.5 percentage points to combat inflation, and is expected to make similar moves at its next two meetings this summer. Though the Fed says it hopes to avoid pushing the economy into a recession, fears are mounting that it will, illustrated by the brutal week on Wall Street.

During the interview with CNN, Gates also spoke about his new book, “How to prevent the next pandemic,” saying that the country needs to better prepare itself for the next global medical crisis. 

“It’s hard to overstate how unprepared we were for what was sadly even somewhat predictable, and so hopefully this is our big wake-up call to do like we do for earthquake and fire and war to really be able to respond correctly,” Gates said of pandemic preparedness. 

The Microsoft founder has previously spoken out about the lack of preparations in advance of the COVID-19 pandemic and the possibility that the worst of this pandemic had not yet occurred.

“It’s not likely, I don’t want to be a voice of doom and gloom, but it’s way above a 5 percent risk that this pandemic, we haven’t even seen the worst of it,” Gates said in an interview with the Financial Times

Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. has seen well over 81 million COVID-19 infections and is nearing the milestone of 1 million deaths throughout the pandemic, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

Tags bill gates Bill Gates economic slowdown Fareed Zakaria inflation Interest rates

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