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IBM CEO says inflation fears could trigger 'some chaos'

IBM CEO says inflation fears could trigger 'some chaos'

November 17, 2021: -IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has told CNBC that he’s “always worried” about inflation and warned of possible disruption ahead.

“With all of the liquidity, and the fears of inflation surging its head, that can cause some chaos,” Krishna told CNBC after he was asked what keeps him up at all night.

The technology giant’s leader said the disruption might not unfold for some time, however.

“I’m always worried about it, but I’m not sure it will have an impact on the business in 2022,” Krishna told CNBC at the ADIPEC energy industry forum in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has said he expects inflation conditions to persist “well into next year” and conceded it is “frustrating” that supply chain issues are showing no signs of improvement. However, the Fed has insisted that rising prices are primarily tied to the coronavirus pandemic and that the supply chain problems will pass.

The U.S. consumer price index, covering products ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents, increased 0.9% every October. The Labor Department reported on November 10, significantly higher than expectations. The reading climbed to 6.2% year by year, which hits its highest point since December 1990.

Krishna also said there could be an economic slowdown if a Covid variant takes hold.

“We still have a pandemic upon us,” he said. “If some new variant comes around, worse than delta, that would bother me as I think it’ll cause a temporary, not a permanent, slowdown.”

Covid protocols and the vaccines are lessening the impacts of the virus, Krishna added.

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