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Jeff Bezos’ top tips for dealing with the economic downturn

CNN Business

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos recently warned consumers and businesses that they should consider delaying big purchases in the coming months as the global economy struggles with a slowdown and faces a possible recession.

The CEO offered his strongest advice yet on a faltering economy in an exclusive sit-down interview with CNN’s Chloe Melas on Saturday at Bezos’ home in Washington, DC.

Bezos urged people to delay spending on big-ticket items like new cars, televisions and appliances, noting that delaying big purchases is the surest way to keep some “dry powder” in the event of a prolonged economic downturn. Meanwhile, small businesses may want to avoid making large capital expenditures or acquisitions during this uncertain time, Bezos added.

If enough consumers follow Bezos’s advice, it could mean lower sales for Amazon, the e-commerce giant Bezos founded and which created the vast majority of the billionaire’s fortune.

The New York Times reported Monday that Amazon plans to cut its workforce, laying off 10,000 workers, the largest reduction in the company’s history. This is in addition to a previously announced hiring freeze in the company’s workforce. The company is second only to Walmart in the number of people it employs in the United States.

Amazon ( AMZN ) said in October that it expects sales for the final three months of the year to be significantly below Wall Street’s expectations. The weaker forecast came as rising inflation and looming recession fears weigh on consumer purchasing decisions as Americans focus more on travel and dining out and less on buying discretionary goods.

The company’s shares have fallen more than 40% as rising prices and changing customer behavior weigh on Amazon and the broader technology sector.

Bezos said the likelihood of economic conditions worsening makes it sensible to save money if there is an option.

“Take some risk off the table,” he said. “Just a little risk reduction can make the difference.”

Last month, Bezos tweeted a warning to his followers on Twitter, advising them to “batt the hatches”. The advice was intended for both business owners and consumers, Bezos said in the interview.

Many may feel that pinch now, he added, but claimed that as an optimist he believes the American dream “is and will become even more attainable in the future” – estimating that within his own lifetime space travel could become widely available to the public .

Although the U.S. economy isn’t technically in a recession, nearly 75% of likely voters in a recent CNN poll said they feel it is. Wages are up, but not enough to take the sting out of inflation, especially high prices for necessities such as food, fuel and shelter. For those invested in shares, it has not been a good year either, and it is particularly difficult for pensioners who live off their investments.

Other business leaders have sent similar messages about the economy in recent months. Tesla ( TSLA ) and Twitter CEO Elon Musk admitted last month that demand for Tesla ( TSLA ) was “a little harder” to come by, noting that Europe and China are experiencing “kind of a recession.” Musk also warned that Tesla ( TSLA ) would fall short of its sales growth target.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon spooked the stock market in October by saying that a recession could hit the US in as little as six to nine months.

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