Cautiously optimistic, still

The emergence of the Omicron variant is the latest (unwelcome) risk to stir into the 2022 economic maelstrom. But we still don’t know enough about it to be able to say anything sensible about the potential economic damage. It could be some weeks before we do. For now, we maintain a cautiously optimistic view of the NZ economy next year. And we saw plenty of snippets of positive economic news out last week to support this view.

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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.