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No let-up in migration flow

Impact of ongoing strong migration set to continue, as the latest Statistics New Zealand data reveals yet another net gain record.

Thursday, February 25th 2016, 12:00AM

by Miriam Bell

Unadjusted Statistics New Zealand’s figures showed a record net gain of 65,900 migrants in the January 2016 year.

This was driven by migrant arrivals which were up 10% from the January 2015 year, while migrant departures were down by just 1%.

Statistics New Zealand population statistics manager Jo-Anne Skinner said the annual gain in migrants has set new records for the last 18 months.

“Before the August 2014 year, the highest annual net gain in migrants was 42,500 in the May 2003 year.”

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted monthly data showed a net gain of 6,100 migrants in January 2016.

This was up on December 2015’s net migrant gain of 5,500 and slightly higher than the average number of migrants per month over the last six months (5,900).

But it was down on November 2015’s record net gain of 6,300 migrants.

Westpac senior economist Anne Boniface said ongoing low departures and strength in arrivals will push New Zealand's annual population growth rate to reach its highest pace since 1974.

“High population growth is helping to maintain a semblance of strong GDP growth.

“But, at the same time, the preponderance of people in the labour market is keeping wage growth lower than it would otherwise be.”

Westpac expects that net immigration will remain strong for some time yet, although the current strength will eventually moderate, she said.

This is partly because many of those who arrived on student and temporary work visas will start to leave over the coming years.

“In addition, the balance of trans-Tasman job opportunities is now shifting, with Australia reporting strong jobs growth and a lower unemployment rate than New Zealand.

“If this trend continues, New Zealand will eventually become a relatively less attractive destination.”

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HSBC Premier 5.49 4.39 5.15 5.39
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
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HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.25 ▲4.29 ▲5.09 ▲5.35
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Liberty 4.84 - - -
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TSB Special 4.79 ▼4.34 ▼4.99 5.35
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Westpac 5.54 5.09 5.79 6.09
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Median 5.45 4.55 5.25 5.52

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