Uber CEO says the company may actually benefit from rising inflation

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A key August inflation report sent stocks tumbling Tuesday after the consumer price index gained 0.1% for the month despite falling gas prices. But the report isn’t all bad for companies like Uber, which said its supply side may actually be benefiting from the inflationary environment.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC’s “TechCheck” on Monday that as expenses rise and people are paying more for essentials like groceries, they are also signing up to drive for Uber.

“If anything, 72% of drivers in the U.S. are saying that one of the considerations of their signing up to drive on Uber was actually inflation,” he said.

SoftBank invested in Uber in 2018 and was once its biggest shareholder. But the Japanese giant has been facing mounting losses at its Vision Fund investment unit and has been selling stakes in companies to raise cash.
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Khosrowshahi said inflation is “everywhere,” but Uber is not seeing any signs of weaknesses as a result.

The unexpectedly high August report is one of the last the Fed will see before its Sept. 20-21 meeting, and it could lead to more aggressive interest rate hikes for longer than investors anticipated.

Uber shares closed down more than 3% Tuesday, amid a broader plunge in tech stocks that sent the tech-heavy Nasdaq index falling 5%.

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