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Migration figures up, just

Friday 20th August 2010

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New Zealand’s permanent population increased by 1,000 people due to immigration in the month of July, while the nation experienced an overall increase of 15,200 for the year, according to Statistics New Zealand.

The department said the net permanent and long-term arrivals for the year was higher than the annual average of 11,900 for the years 1990-2009, though the figure masks outflows to Australia.

For the July 2010 year, a net 16,500 people crossed the Tasman permanently, made up of 32,300 departures and 15,800 arrivals, the majority of migrants in both directions being New Zealand citizens. In the July 2009 year, the net outflow was 26,900 people.

The slight increase in permanent arrivals in July lifted from June 2010’s 100 people gain.

“The trouble is people often default to the annual averages, and don’t look at the underlying month on month figures,” said BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert.

“The net monthly figure was very dangerously flirting with zero.”

Part of the trend over the past year has been an increase in permanent departures, which tended to freeze as people waited the outcome of the global financial crisis.

“What we may be seeing is a stabilising permanent arrival figure that stays at a low level, instead of going negative,” Ebert said.

Other highlights of the immigration figures for July were a net inflow of 900 migrants from India, 400 from China and 200 each from Germany and the Philippines. The net outflow of 1,400 permanent migrants to Australia was up from 900 in July 2009, but down on the net outflow of 2,700 in July 2008.

Visitor arrivals for July 2010 compared to July 2009 were up 4% at 182,900, with 3,900 more visitors from China, 2,800 extra from Japan, and 1,800 more from Australia.

“The visitor trends are patchy,” Ebert said.

“European, UK, Ireland and North American numbers are still weak to weakening. But we’re seeing a very aggressive bounce back in arrivals from Asia.”

Ebert said this demonstrates how much more New Zealand is part of a global economy, somewhat moving away from the old allies and creating greater exposure to Asian markets.

The figures may also help dispel negative commentary around New Zealand’s economic recovery, which Ebert said is still predicting to be patchy, slow and frustrating. Its overall direction is still positive Ebert said.

Businesswire.co.nz



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