Net inflow of migrants to ease, says economist
By Brian Fallow
5:30 AM Wednesday Dec 22, 2010

The net inflow of migrants held up last month, albeit at below-par levels.

There was a net gain of 1400 permanent and long-term migrants - or 600 when adjusted for seasonal effects - the same as in October, Statistics New Zealand said.

In the year ended November, there was a net gain of 11,500 migrants, which is in line with the average 11,900 annual gain of the past 20 years.

"Over the past year, the annual inflow of net migration has been slowing as the number of departures has been rising, largely due to an increase in departures to Australia," ASB economist Jane Turner said.

"With Australian employment growth continuing to outperform labour market conditions in New Zealand, we expect departures will continue to lift. This will see the current pace of annual inflow ease from around 12,000 per annum in recent months to around 5000 to 6000."

Slowing net migration was contributing to weak demand for new housing and weak retail spending growth, Turner said.

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