Increase in migrant numbers offers boost to economy
By Brian Fallow
5:30 AM Friday Oct 22, 2010

The net inflow of migrants gathered pace last month, promising a degree of support for a flagging economy.

After dwindling steadily to almost zero during the first half of the year, permanent and long-term migration has rebounded in the past three months, reaching a seasonally adjusted net gain of 1070 last month.

For the year ended September the net gain was 13,900, which is 2000 higher than the average over the past 20 years.

"It is early days but this recovery in net migration is encouraging in the sense that a few months back it was threatening to turn negative," Goldman Sachs economist Philip Borkin said.

"If recent trends are sustained it should help to allay concerns over pending labour shortages. It will also help to provide a floor under the housing market and domestic demand."

ASB economist Christina Leung said modest population growth would support a gradual recovery in housing construction and retail spending over the coming years.

More here.