2022 should be the year in which the developed world learns to live with COVID-19. High levels of vaccinations have helped weaken the link between case rates and deaths in richer countries. Despite spreading at lightning speed and generating record case rates, the Omicron variant has been less damaging to health than previous waves.

The restrictions that came in the wake of Omicron dampened activity late last year, but better times are likely as this wave recedes. Equity investors are upbeat, with the US S&P index hitting an all-time high on 4 January, having risen by 9% in the final quarter of the year. In the UK our own survey shows chief financial officers (CFOs) of the countries’ largest businesses enter 2022 with a strong focus on expansion.