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Liz Kendall, senior economist at ANZ, explains that today’s release of New Zealand data suggests that net permanent and long-term migration levelled off over 2018, and perhaps surged higher in the past few months.

Key Quotes

“By contrast, in December, the data showed migration fairly flat. In November, the data showed net permanent and long”‘term migration trending down over 2018.”

“According to the latest release, seasonally adjusted monthly inflows rose a modest 6,300 in January, with a strong influx of arrivals. December’s print was revised from 5,080 to 6,880, reflecting lower departures than previously published. This implies that inflows have been sitting at around 6,100 on average over the past three months, compared with an average of 4,800 over the past 12 months.”

“Annual net inflows have ticked higher to 58,400. Overall, net permanent and long-term migration has been trending down since its peak of 64,000 in 2016.”

“Under the previous intentions-based methodology, the migration cycle was thought to have peaked at 72,400 in July 2017. Recent data poses some risk that the declining trend has reached its end in recent months, but we expect this picture may change as more data comes in.”    

“Short-term arrivals of overseas visitors remain at a high level, although they reportedly dipped by 450 people in January. There have been 3.87m visitors over the past year (up from 3.86m in December), providing support to the tourism industry, which is grappling with capacity constraints.”