NZ Annual Immigration Growth Falls To Seven-Year Low

New Zealand Annual Immigration Growth Falls to Seven-Year Low

By Tracy Withers

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) — New Zealands annual immigration growth fell to the lowest in more than seven years in November, adding to signs that weak consumer spending and demand for housing may delay the economys recovery from a recession.

The number of permanent migrant arrivals exceeded departures by 3,569 in the 12 months ended Nov. 30, Statistics New Zealand said in a report released today in Wellington. Net arrivals fell from 4,329 in the year to October and were the lowest since the year to October 2001.

In November, permanent departures exceeded arrivals by 590 people, seasonally adjusted, the agency said. Departures have exceeded arrivals for three straight months after net arrivals averaged 500 a month in the eight months to August, the agency said.

Tourist and short-term visitor arrivals rose for a second month in November, which may buoy spending in an industry that makes up about 10 percent of the economy.

Short-term visitor arrivals increased 0.8 percent from October when they rose 0.7 percent, seasonally adjusted, the agency said.

Still, arrivals fell 4.2 percent from a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at

Last Updated: December 18, 2008 16:49 EST