What to look out for in 2022

  • Here we outline five key things to watch out for in 2022
  • COVID-19 will continue to set the narrative
  • Our hope is for a better 2022 but we are wary
Our note of 2021 highlighted COVID-19, the shape of the NZ recovery, the housing market, population and NZ interest rates as the top things to look at. These were interlinked and have a strong COVID-19 theme running through them. We had speculated that growth over 2021 would be bumpy, that risks to the housing market were two-sided and that inflation and interest rates could rise sooner than expected. We were only partly right.
Looking ahead, our core view is that COVID-19 will continue to dominate the social, political, economic and market narrative and will have a significant bearing on how 2022 ends up. Our top five things to look out for will be heavily influenced by COVID-19. Key questions for the 2022 outlook include:

- Economic disruptions caused by COVID-19 – is the worst behind us?
- High inflation – temporary or persistent?
- Housing market – soft or hard landing?
- Capacity frictions – will these abate or intensify over 2022?
- Interest rates – how much will they rise in 2022?
Our hope is that the COVID-19 fog will clear, but the course of the pandemic is still highly uncertain. With the sizeable risk of an Omicron outbreak in NZ, we are not out of the woods just yet. There are also a lot of other things going on that will shape the 2022 outlook.

Contact us

Nick Tuffley

ASB Chief Economist

Since starting out in 1997 as an economist, it's fair to say Nick has seen a few hair-raising moments over the years, including the Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis.

One of Nick's strengths is his ability to communicate complex ideas in a readily understandable and entertaining way.  He thrives on helping people understand the economic environment to help enrich the quality of their business or personal life. He’s proud to lead a team that has won two Forecast Accuracy Awards from Consensus Economics, and has a strong track record with their Official Cash Rate and dairy price forecasts. 

Nick grew up in Christchurch and graduated with a Master of Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury.  He learned his economic ropes at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand before a long stint as a Senior Economist at Westpac, and joined ASB as Chief Economist in 2007.

Mark Smith

Senior Economist

Mark joined ASB in 2017, with over 20 years of public and private sector experience working as an economist in New Zealand and the UK.

His resume includes lengthy stints at ANZ and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and he has also worked at the Bank of England, HM Treasury and the New Zealand Transport Agency. Mark's areas of specialisation include interest rate strategy, macro-economic analysis and urban economics.

Born and bred in the Waikato, Mark studied at Waikato University where he graduated with a Master of Social Sciences, majoring in Economics.

Mark's key strengths are the ability to use his extensive experience, inquisitive nature, analytical ability, creativity and pragmatism to dig a little deeper and to deliver common sense solutions to tackle complex problems.

When not at work Mark likes to travel, keep fit and spend time with his friends and family.