21 Sep 2010

NZ migration rate slows

12:04 pm on 21 September 2010

New Zealand's monthly migration rate has slowed as fewer immigrants arrive and people continue to leave for Australia.

Official figures show a seasonally adjusted gain of 800 people in August, 100 less than the previous month.

But it's still a rebound in migration rates compared to a severe drop in June, when arrivals reached a 19-month low.

ANZ National Bank economist Mark Smith says that while there are more people arriving than leaving, Australia is still luring New Zealanders.

Given that the housing market and retail spending is weak at the moment, Mr Smith says a slowdown in migration is the last thing the economy needs.

Meanwhile, the number of tourists arriving in the country climbed to a record high in August, up 4 percent compared to the same month last year. The increase was due mainly to a surge in visitors from China.