Australia ever more popular with Chinese
The ABS released its Overseas Arrivals and Departures figures today, updating the data series to November 2014 after a bit of a pause for breath.
The data confirmed my suspicions noted here previously with an enormous 42 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of Chinese short term arrivals into Australia.
Let's take a look in 3 short parts...
The headline figures recorded only 46,430 permanent and long term arrivals into Australia in the month of November 2014, another weak result which takes the rolling annual total down to a little over 710,000.
This is the weakest rolling 12 monthly figure since September 2011.
Netting off the permanent and long term departures, total net long term migration over the past 12 months slowed to 326,240, which is also the softest level of net immigration since September 2011.
We can therefore expect that annual population growth in Australia over the near term will be closer towards ~300,000 than the ~400,000 level we have seen previously.
For what it's worth the Department of Immigration forecasts expect that stronger population growth will return in due course.
Record Chinese tourism
The short term arrivals figures are set to receive a boost from the lower Australian dollar which is seeing a buoyant tourism sector.
Here are the annual short term arrivals figures by country:
While the above chart shows that tourists hail from many quarters, there is no doubt about the stand-out trend...
The data revealed a further 74,000 Chinese short term arrivals in November 2014, a year-on-year increase of more than 42 per cent which takes the rolling annual figure to 842,100.
Including visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan takes the total to 1,166,100, by far and way the largest number we have seen to date.
Fewer Kiwi settlers
The slowing of net long term migration is mirrored in the below chart which shows a very sharp drop off in the number of settlers from Oceania (read: New Zealanders).
The greatest number of settlers by a huge margin continue to hail from Asia, as one would expect given Australia's location.
The decline in Kiwi settlers has been a notable trend in recent years, and is matched by a medium term decline in the number of Pommie settlers.
While the UK economy recovers and unemployment continues to fall, there has also been a marked shift in the respective strength of currencies since the financial crisis which has played a significant role.
After years of enjoying very strong exchange rates with Australia, Brits are now less enamoured with the idea of Australia's warmer climes as the pound sterling buys less than half of what it once did in Aussie dollar terms.
There are now many more Chinese and Indian settlers in Australia per annum than there are Brits.