Economic Weekly: Cheap thrills and comfort food

  • NZ consumed 5-weeks’ worth of takeaways during the first week of Level 3; this strong bounce in sales from pent-up demand signals some hope for many businesses grappling with the devastating impact of remaining closed as NZ fights to eliminate COVID-19.
  • However, beyond this initial bounce-back in spending from pent-up demand, the outlook for household spending will be challenging for the rest of the year.
  • With tough times coming, NZ households are likely to stick with cheap thrills and comfort food but, with job security in mind, households will take a more cautious approach to big ticket items such as the purchase of a new house, new car or home renovations.

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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.