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NZ net migration holds up in November as Australia falls out of favour

Friday 20th December 2013

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New Zealand's inbound migration remained elevated in November as new migrants kept arriving and fewer locals drifted across the Tasman.

The country gained a seasonally adjusted net 2,800 new migrants in November, down from the 10-year high of 3,000 in October, according to Statistics New Zealand. On an actual basis, there was an inflow of 3,700, up from 1,700 a year earlier. The seasonally adjusted net loss to Australia of 980 was the third month in a row where the outflow across the Tasman was lower than 1,000.

On an annual basis, there was a net inflow of 19,500 new migrants to New Zealand, turning around an outflow of 1,600 a year earlier. A net inflow of British migrants led the annual gain with 5,940, followed by 5,575 Chinese migrants and 5,300 Indians.

Rising migration is seen as one of the contributing factors for the bubbling property market in Auckland, the country's biggest city and traditional gateway, which has created a headache for the Reserve Bank in that it will have to hike interest rates to damp future inflation, but doesn't want to make an already strong currency look any more attractive.

Today's figures also showed an 8.2 percent lift in short-term visitor arrivals to 251,100 in November from a year earlier, and an annual gain of 5.3 percent to 2.7 million. Increasing numbers of Australian and US visitors offset declining numbers of Chinese in November.

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