NZ population grows by 2700
4:00AM Saturday Aug 22, 2009
By Brian Fallow

Population gain from net migration continued to run strong last month.

Permanent and long-term arrivals exceeded departures by 2700, 2000 more than in July last year.

The change from a year ago is almost entirely a result of fewer people leaving New Zealand, including 1500 fewer to Australia and 200 fewer to Britain.

On the incoming side there were 400 more returning New Zealanders, offset by 300 fewer immigrants from other countries. Adjusted for seasonal effects the net gain was 2500, reflecting 7600 arrivals offset by 5100 departures.

The number of people leaving was unchanged from June which was the second lowest since January 2004.

The net gain from migration over the year ended last month was 14,500, compared with an average gain of 11,400 over the past 19 years.

The net inflow of the past three months, if sustained for a year, would boost the population by 25,000.

The natural increase (births minus deaths) over the year ended June was 34,000.

ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said the direct economic effect of a lift in the net inflow of migrants was support for retail spending, and fewer houses for sale and rental properties freed up for lease than otherwise.

"However, with the Australian economy faring much better than New Zealand's the weak outflow of migrants to Australia is unlikely to be a permanent sea change," Tuffley said.

Deutsche Bank chief economist Darren Gibbs said that if history was any guide strong migrant inflows made it more likely the housing market would sustain the recovery evident so far this year.

From here.