Economics/Class Relations

Omicron could pose ‘significant’ threat to global economy, Yellen says

By , Reuters

Dec 2 (Reuters) – The Omicron variant of COVID-19 could slow global economic growth by exacerbating supply chain problems and depressing demand, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the Reuters Next conference on Thursday.

Yellen cited a great deal of uncertainty about the impact of the highly contagious variant, first detected in South Africa, given the severe U.S. economic slowdown caused by the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19 earlier this year.

“Hopefully it’s not something that’s going to slow economic growth significantly,” Yellen said, adding, “There’s a lot of uncertainty, but it could cause significant problems. We’re still evaluating that.”

Yellen said the new strain of the coronavirus could exacerbate supply chain problems and boost inflation, but it could also depress demand and cause slower growth, which would ease some of the inflationary pressures.

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