- Bill Gates said there's a "strong argument" we're about to see a global economic slowdown.
- He told CNN the Ukraine war would likely accelerate "inflationary problems" caused by the pandemic.
- Wall Street banks are divided on whether the global economy is headed for recession.
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When it comes to the fate of the global economy, Bill Gates is siding with the bears.
In an interview with CNN Sunday, Gates was asked how he sees the war in Ukraine affecting the global economy over the next few years.
He said: "It comes on top of the pandemic where government debt levels were already very, very high, and there were already supply chain problems. It's likely to accelerate the inflationary problems that rich world economies have and force an increase in interest rates that eventually will result in an economic slowdown."
He added: "I'm afraid the bears on this one have a pretty strong argument that concerns me a lot."
Gates said the health needs of poor countries would take a hit if wealthy countries suffered economic problems.
The US Federal Reserve and other central banks in leading world economies have recently hiked interest rates to counter soaring inflation. This has led to concerns that rates will rise too quickly and trigger a downturn that could lead to recession.
Gates wrote in an April blog post that closing the wealth gap between rich and poor countries was essential to prevent another pandemic.
"If we're going to be serious about preventing the next pandemic, we need to not just go back to pre-Covid aid levels but increase investments in strengthening health systems (which will also help shrink the overall health gap between the rich and the poor)," he wrote.