i

Economic Weekly: Piecing the growth puzzle together

  • Last week the RBNZ left the OCR firmly on hold and maintained its neutral bias.
  • This week provides an important piece of the NZ growth outlook puzzle in the form of the NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion.
  • Offshore, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s rate announcement (no change expected) and Friday’s US Non-farm Payrolls release will be the key events.

Contact us

Jane Turner

Senior Economist

Originally hailing from sunny Nelson, Jane moved to Auckland to join the ASB team in 2008.  As Senior Economist, Jane's main focus is co-ordinating the team’s macro-economic forecasts.  In this key role, Jane was thrilled by the team’s twice consecutive win of the Consensus Economics Forecast Accuracy award.   

During her decade-long career in economic forecasting, Jane has gained a thorough knowledge of the New Zealand economy.  Her current focus is on New Zealand GDP growth, including both manufacturing and the construction sectors.  She has spent time forecasting most sectors of the economy, including inflation, trade, housing, labour and financial markets.

Prior to joining ASB, Jane honed her macro-economic forecasting skills at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.  Jane is a qualified scarfie, attending Otago University and graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics with 1st class honours.  In 2014, she took a career break from ASB to travel the world and learn to snowboard.

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.

Nathan Penny

Senior Rural Economist

Nathan's bold predictions and his ability to call it as he sees it sets him apart from other New Zealand rural economists.  In particular, his controversial, but ultimately successful $6.00/kg MS 2016/17 milk price forecast is case in point.

He has a natural talent to distil complex issues and translate them into user-friendly formats for diverse groups, including farmers and financial markets participants.  Nathan brings unique perspectives and thought leadership to the country's rural and broader export sectors.  

Nathan joined ASB as the Rural Economist in 2013, having cut his teeth at the New Zealand Treasury.  He hails from the Kapiti Coast and studied at Massey University where he graduated with a Master of Applied Economics.

Nathan's expertise lie in dairy and other commodity markets, trade economics and economic forecasting.  He's a leading GlobalDairyTrade auction and NZX dairy derivatives commentator and he also authors ASB's monthly rural publication, Farmshed Economics.  

He's a proud Hurricanes and Wellington Phoenix fan, and will gladly discuss at length the Hurricanes Super Rugby 2016 victory.

Mike Jones

Senior Economist

Mike joined ASB in 2019 armed with almost 15 years of experience in applied macroeconomic and financial markets analysis.

Mike's career has been all about distilling the risks and opportunities of economic and financial market trends for business. Basically asking the "what does it all mean" question. Mike’s enthusiasm and skill for drawing out practical, commercial insights from the murky world of economics has been honed over a relatively broad base of experience.

After spending the early part of his career on the tools at the Reserve Banks of both NZ and Australia, Mike had a lengthy stint at BNZ where he was NZ’s top-ranked currency strategist. His regular and topical macro research also saw him pick up several FX forecast accuracy gongs from Bloomberg.

Drawn in by the prospect putting strategy into practice, Mike moved from Wellington to Auckland in 2013 to join Fonterra as GM Treasury Risk Management. In this role, Mike lead Fonterra’s macroeconomic research output, and was responsible for the strategy and execution of Fonterra’s foreign exchange, debt, and interest rate hedging programmes.

When he's not watching markets, Mike's young family keeps him busy. He also runs the odd marathon and, in summer, likes to watch Trent Boult swinging the new ball back into right-handers.