NZ Annual Immigration Growth Falls To Eight-Year Low

New Zealand Annual Immigration Growth Falls to Eight-Year Low

By Tracy Withers

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) — New Zealands annual immigration growth fell to an eight-year low in 2008, 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 3,814, Statistics New Zealand said in a report released today in Wellington. Thats the lowest calendar year figure since departures exceeded arrivals in 2000.

In December, permanent arrivals exceeded departures for the first time in four months as a net 280 migrants arrived, the agency said, citing seasonally adjusted figures.

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

Short-term visitor arrivals increased 3.9 percent from November, seasonally adjusted, the agency said.

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

Last Updated: February 3, 2009 16:55 EST