New Zealand has gained its highest migration rate in 10 years with fewer Kiwis leaving Australia, according to Statistics New Zealand. The country had more people arriving than departing with 2,740 migrants in Sept. 2003. The figure is the highest number of migrants since Jul. 2003.
The migrant rate increase within the last few months was due to fewer departures and more arrivals based on the International Travel and Migration report.
New Zealand lost 800 migrants to Australia, the smallest number since Sept. 2003. Since Dec. 2012, the number of Kiwis crossing over to Australia has declined. From Jan. to Sept. 2013, 25,300 Kiwis moved to Australia compared to 39,500 in 2012.
ASB economist Daniel Smith said fewer Kiwis were getting off the country to go to Australia, as more migrants were going back to New Zealand. Mr Smith also said migrants will continue moving into New Zealand as the labour market continues to improve.
Mr Smith also noted that Australia is struggling to add more jobs to the market to keep up with its growing population. The jobs market in New Zealand is more than likely to maintain its robust growth compared to Australia and Europe. New Zealand's labour market is expected to continue driving migration inward.
New Zealand welcomed 15, 200 migrants in 12 months. In 2012, the country lost 3,300 migrants. The highest number of migrants who entered the country came from UK with 6,000, followed by China with 5,400 and India with 5,100.
Westpac economist Felix Delbruck said the net influx of migrants was even better than expected. Mr Delbruck said that if the current trend will continue, New Zealand will pass the 20,000 mark of the annual net immigration.
He said unemployment woes in Australia may further continue with the unemployment rate expected to hit 6.5 per cent by 2014. This would mean another increase in the net immigration rate in 2014.
Kiwi dollar expected to rise
The New Zealand dollar is expected to gain as investors banked on the partial U.S. government shutdown to push the Federal Reserve to maintain its monetary stimulus. The Kiwi dollar is expected to trade between 83.50 and 86.20 US cents based on a survey by BusinessDesk among currency traders and analysts.
It's not surprising to see economic growth in New Zealand with the IMF expecting strong growth in the country in 2014.
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