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Satish Ranchhod, senior economist at Westpac, points out that the New Zealand’s net migration surprised massively to the upside in December, while in annual terms, net migration is down 25% from its earlier peaks, and has remained steady at just under 50,000 for six months now.

Key Quotes

“Net migration surprised massively to the upside in December, with a net inflow of 5,080 people over the month. That was up from 3,300 last month, with estimates back to July also revised upwards.   We had expected a figure of around 2,800.”

“Today’s data and the recent revisions leave the annual inflow of people into the country running at 48,900. Previously it looked like migration had slowed to around 43,000.”

“Given this measurement related uncertainty, we’d recommend focusing on the annual totals, rather than the monthly figures. Annual migration has clearly slowed. The annual net inflow of people into the country peaked back in 2016 at 64,000. It has now fallen by close to 25% to 48,900, and it has remained around those levels for six months now.”