Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Population growth picks up a bit more (more Chinese tourism records)

Population growth uptick

Net long term and permanent immigration picked up a touch to +267,200 in the year to November.

With the strong gains in temporary visa holders to nearly 2 million, this points to another increase in annual population growth, probably putting the total close to 350,000 in calendar year 2016.

Short term arrivals continued to bust records, breaking through 8.2 million in November.

With household wealth hitting a record $9 trillion it's probably not that surprising that Aussies are still holiday abroad in near-record numbers.

Yet cracks are starting to show here, with the lower dollar clearly helping the rebalancing.

Not only are more overseas trips increasingly bound to closer and cheaper locations such as Bali - a sure sign of the currency impact - seasonally adjusted short term departures also dropped quite sharply from 843,100 to 813,200 in November. 

There was a massive 249,000 increase in annual visitors from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, for an 18 per cent annual uplift to 1.62 million. 

A quarter of a century ago we were lucky to get a handful more than 1,000 visitors per month from China. This is simple amazing stuff! 

This trend is doubly important for Australia, for we know that on average Chinese visitors spend up big more than those hailing from any other country.

The wrap

Strong numbers, yes, but at least as important are internal migration and demographic trends, with the largest capital cities mopping up a record share of population growth in 2016.

On the one hand, population growth has dried up or at least been sluggish in South Australia (0.5 per cent), Western Australia (1 per cent), Tasmania (0.5 per cent), and the Northern Territory (0.2 per cent). 

On the other hand, between them the two most populous states accounted for more than two thirds of population growth. 

It's impossible to predict accurately, but it increasingly looks as though Melbourne shattered all population growth records in 2016, with Victoria probably adding about 130,000 heads, in turn eclipsing the similarly massive growth in New South Wales of about 105,000.

Queensland's population growth probably picked up to above 65,000 as Sydneysiders began to head north in search of sun, steam, and space.

You could pretty much smear a tube of Banana Boat around the rest.