New Zealand immigration soars to 10 year high

New Zealand immigration soars to 10 year high

New Zealand immigration soars to 10 year high

As New Zealand’s immigration totals hit heights not seen for a decade, economists fear that domestic demand and pressure on housing stocks will result in inflation and increased interest rates.

China is now the largest source of long-term immigrants to New Zealand, again for the first time in the last decade, closely followed by India. The level of British immigrants slumped further to its lowest level since 2012, showing a 3.1 per cent decline.

For the year ended February, net immigration figures topped 96,000 people, and departures declined to 67,800, mainly due to less Kiwi enthusiasm for neighbouring Australia as an emigration destination. Over the last 18 months, immigration has soared, boosting demand for accommodation and causing a spike in consumer spending.

Banks are warning of inflationary pressures, with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand already hiking its base rate to 2.75 per cent. Economists are suggesting monthly immigration numbers are starting to run ahead of forecasts, although they’re unsure whether the increase will continue.

Auckland was the favourite destination for most new immigrants, gaining 13,700 residents over the year. Canterbury with its need for construction workers to boost the Christchurch post-earthquake rebuilding programme was the second favourite, gaining 5,100 newly-arrived migrants, and Otago and Wellington each welcomed several hundred.

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