Economic Weekly: Signs of life

  • Business confidence continued to lift throughout May and ASB card spending data show that spending has recovered to around pre-COVID levels.
  • This quick recovery in spending, coupled with a turning point in both business and consumer sentiment, is certainly a positive development.
  • Looking back to Q1 and the early days of the global pandemic, the first estimates of Q1 GDP from across the world have trickled in over recent weeks (see chart opposite) to give an early taste of the economic damage inflicted by the pandemic.


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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.