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NZ annual migration rises to five-year high

NZ annual migration rises to five-year high as fewer kiwis head overseas

Nov. 23 (BusinessWire) – New Zealand’s annual net migration rose to a five-year high in October, driven by a drop in kiwis departing overseas, boding well for housing demand and the consumer goods to fill them.

Permanent or long-term arrivals outnumbered departures by 18,560 in the 12 months ended Oct. 31, up from a net 17,043 in the year through September, according to Statistics New Zealand. Arrivals fell 1% to 86,700 in the latest year while departures tumbled 18% to 68,100.

Growth in net migration helped underpin the nation’s last housing boom and a revival in long-term arrivals should lift consumer demand as the economy climbs out of recession. House prices hit a 10-year high in October, adding to speculation Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard raise interest rates early next year as the economy picks up pace.

“The pick-up in population growth has been fuelling demand for housing over the past six months,” said Jane Turner, economist at ASB, in a note. “While the RBNZ remains adamant it will be on hold till the second half of 2010, we expect housing market pressures will prompt earlier action and expect the first OCR increase in April.”

Short-term visitor arrivals fell 0.7%, seasonally adjusted, in October from September, the government statistician said. Short-term visitor numbers gained 7.7% year on year.


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