Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk attends the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, China, 29 August 2019.
Aly Song | Reuters
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk thinks the global economic decline could last another year and a half.
In a Twitter exchange early Friday morning EST, the mercurial electric car executive and world’s richest man said a recession could continue “until spring 24”.
The remarks came in response to a tweet from Shibetoshi Nakamoto, the online name of Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus, who noted that current coronavirus numbers “are actually quite low.” [sic] I guess all we have to worry about now is the impending global recession and nuclear apocalypse.”
“It sure would be nice to have a year without a horrible world event,” Musk replied.
Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, a Twitter account with nearly 600,000 followers, then asked Musk how long he thought the recession would last, to which he replied, “I guess, but probably until Spring 24.”
Global GDP grew 6% in 2021 but is expected to slow to 3.2% this year and 2.7% in 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund. That would mark the weakest pace of growth since 2001 outside of the 2008 financial crisis and the brief slump in the early days of the Covid pandemic. The Federal Reserve forecasts that GDP in the United States will grow only 0.2% this year and 1.2% in 2023.
Musk becomes the latest corporate titan to express reservations about the economy.
In a tweet Wednesday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said it was time to “batten down the hatches” in anticipation of the tough economic waters ahead. This tweet accompanied a video of Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, who said in an interview with CNBC that he thought there was a “good chance” of a recession in the United States.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon also warned of economic turmoil ahead.
Musk’s comment also came amid a tough week for You’re here stock because the automaker missed revenue estimates and warned of a possible delivery shortfall this year.
On the analysts’ call, Musk expressed more confidence in the US economy than in other parts of the world. He also noted the impact that interest rate increases have on the economy.
“The United States is actually – North America is pretty healthy,” he said. “A bit of that raises interest rates more than they should, but I think they will eventually realize that and bring them down, I think.”
However, he said China was going through “a kind of recession” fueled by the property market, while Europe “is going through a kind of recession, fueled by energy”.
Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously misrepresented past GDP growth.