If you are already reeling over a return to the office today you might want to take a breath before reading a prediction from one bank's economics team.

ASB bank says this week will mark the "end of the world as we know it" as Donald Trump is officially inaugurated as President of the United States on Saturday (New Zealand time).

"This is very much the end of the world as we know it, with the new President likely to take the US in a different direction to what the rest of the world has been accustomed to.

"What exact changes will be made, and the impact on New Zealand (direct and indirect) is still difficult to ascertain at this point. What we do know is that change is coming.


The economics update, released by the bank today, says the transition has the potential to cause volatility in financial markets.

"Just last week Trump hosted his first press conference since July and the lack of any concrete economic policies saw financial markets turn away from US assets, on fears he won't boost the US economy as much as he had suggested."

Kiwibank chief economist Zoe Wallis echoed the concern in her outlook.

"There is a risk that following Trump's inauguration on 20 January, markets are further disappointed with actual policy falling short of expectation."

That would potentially reverse the bullish reaction by the markets seen in the wake of the US presidential election which bet on Trump following through with an aggressive fiscal policy programme.

ASB's economists said a continued lack of solid direction could create opportunities for importers and exporters and is also likely to affect borrowing costs.

Banks in New Zealand are having to borrow more internationally to fund their lending and mortgage rates have already begun to rise.

On the domestic front the ASB is more positive and says the next two weeks should provide enough economic data to give a steer on where things are headed before the Reserve Bank's next official cash rate announcement on February 9.


While dairy prices struggled at the end of last year they expect the latest dairy auction result, due Wednesday morning, to help firm up prices this year.

Meanwhile inflation figures due out next week are expected to show inflation is finally on the rise.

"Such a result would underline that neutral stance and perhaps encourage further crystal-ball gazing over when the RBNZ (Reserve Bank of New Zealand) will start lifting rates in the distant future."

The official cash rate was cut to 1.75 per cent in November but the central bank has signalled that further cuts are unlikely.

Kiwibank's Wallis said the Reserve Bank would be mindful of letting the market run away with rate hike expectations too early, with 29 basis points of hikes priced in by year end and a further 50 basis points over 2018.

Wallis said the most significant data out this week would be the quarterly survey of business opinion by NZIER due out tomorrow.

"Business sentiment measured by other surveys continues to point to an upbeat assessment of firms' own activity outlook.

"In addition, a significant number of firms are looking to increase investment and headcount. We would expect a similar theme to be presented in the QSBO this week."

ASB also pointed to employment data in early February as continuing to show a strong labour market and the potential for wage growth.

"If it shows some increase in real wages it is yet another indicator that the labour market, and by extension the wider economy, is on the right track.

"Increased wages should also serve to support inflation in the coming quarters."