If New Zealand would implement a policy restricting the number of foreign migrants entering its shores, its economic growth would take a hit, as it will cause workforce shortages in crucial sectors, according to the latest estimates of Infometrics, a New Zealand-based economic information and forecasting agency.
The latest forecasts of Informatics released on 14 July foresees slackened near-term growth in household spending and construction activity, which would see GDP growth decline below two percent per year in 2017.
Gareth Kiernan, Infometrics chief forecaster, was quoted by nzherald.co.nz as saying that even as growth is predicted to rebound during 2018, it was based on the assumption that the labour supply would increase if foreign migrants continue coming to New Zealand.
He added that although high levels of immigration have definitely been exerting more pressure on infrastructure and the home market, especially in Auckland, employment growth of over one percent per quarter in the past one and half years indicates the requirement of workers in all sectors.
Had the arrival of foreign workers and New Zealanders returning to their homeland been not happening, businesses in New Zealand would have found it tough to meet the increasing demand and cost pressure in the construction and tourism sectors, Kiernan said.
He added the with slowdown being already witnessed in sales behaviour and increasing house prices, the combination of increasing interest rates and a government restriction on migration would be deadly.
He said that high migration levels, eventually, were an encouraging indication of New Zealand’s economic health.
New Zealand was able to attract and retain workers because its growth in recent years has surpassed that of other developed economies, Kiernan stated.
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