N.Z. Immigration Is Highest in More Than Two Years

July 22, 2009

New Zealand’s annual immigration growth accelerated to the highest level in more than two years in June, adding to signs that consumer spending and demand for housing may speed the economy’s recovery from a recession. The number of permanent migrant arrivals exceeded departures by 12,515 in the 12 months to June 30, Statistics New Zealand said in a report released today in Wellington. That’s up from 11,202 in the year through May and is the most since the 12 months to February 2007. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said last month a recovery in immigration may bolster spending and help the economy grow in the final quarter of this year, which would end seven quarters of recession. The increase in immigration has been stoked by fewer New Zealanders heading overseas. “Migration is a positive for the economy and will provide support to both the housing market and spending,” said Philip Borkin, economist at ANZ National Bank Ltd. in Wellington. “Migration is a reason, along with signs of stabilization in other pockets, that suggest the Reserve Bank is on hold.”