Net overseas migration swings sharply into negative

Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released Overseas Arrivals and Departures data for December, which confirmed that net migration into Australia has swung sharply negative.

Australia has lost nearly 19,000 net permanent & long-term arrivals since the pandemic hit in March 2020 – the first time net arrivals have been negative since the data series began in 1976:

Accordingly, annual net arrivals plummeted to only 96,700 in the 2020 calendar year, the lowest level since 1999:

As shown in the next chart, there is a strong correlation between the ABS’ monthly net permanent & long-term arrivals data and the official quarterly net overseas migration (NOM) data, which is only current to June 2020:

Officially, Australia recorded NOM of -5,900 in the June quarter as international borders were slammed shut:

Thus, based on the above monthly net arrivals figures, NOM should record negative figures over coming quarters.

This aligns with the October Federal Budget’s NOM forecast, which projected declines of -71,600 in 2020-21 and -21,600 in 2021-22:

Much will depend on the speed and effectiveness of the vaccine rollout across the globe.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. Surely this is great news?
    Does the data capture the arrival of Australian expats returning home during covid? I guess it nets off those visa holders leaving against the repatriation throng?

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      And returning Strayans are likely more loaded to the gunnels with dosh to fuel Lowe’s and Rainbowberg’s housing price ponzi and will be far easier to lend irresponsibly to (not that anything will stop our banks doing that), than warm-bodied Deliveroo riders earning peanuts?

    • Returning Australians should be separate and its more than 450,000 returned since… I don’t know, when borders shut? Or 1 Jan 2020? but that would include people who were holidaying and people who are family members living overseas then going to their established home here. Plus people properly returning, cashed up and buying. the thing with nom is 8 or 900,000 arrive while 500,000 are chucking it in so there’s a lot of churn which should cause a lot of home sales froth, you’d think its disappearance would have been noticeable.

      • Yes, its a bit of a mystery.
        I’ve had an Aussie family renting next door after returning from working in Sweden to take up a local job. They had to wait on tenants to depart their existing house, which puts the tenants back in the market. Many returnees would be in this position but wanting to buy houses. All of which leads to effective zero vacancy rates in Perth.
        Meanwhile, there appears to be plenty of student dog-box apartments in Melbourne and Sydney while residents are decamping to the outer fringes and regional centres, which is also a feature in WA.

  2. Just listened to testing statistics by Professor at Trent College on these quick Covid testing kits. Seriously, the are worse than useless. They preferentially pick up those who are positive, but are getting over the virus and are no longer infectious. But of more concern, it doesn’t detect 40-50% of those who are infectious, but show no symptoms.

    The other panelist, an analyst representing the airline industry, just didn’t know what to say… but I guess vaccination passports are not going to work either! he also talked about vested interests, etc. etc.

    • Mr SquiggleMEMBER

      Science and medicine have been revved up to focus in vaccines. We really need science to turn its attention to quicker, more accurate detection mechanisms for Covid. Imagine if there was a breath test for Covid. Containment & control of the disease should be as high a priority as developing vaccines

      • Display NameMEMBER

        About 10 years ago my younger son used to get crippling pains in the abdomen. We went to emergency 5 times over 13 months to get him checked. The first two times I suggested appendicitis and was put back in my box by the emergency room doctors. The 5th time we presented, at Hornsby, I told them I was not leaving until they worked out what was going on. I was perhaps a little distraught, they had security and a nurse escort me back to the emergency waiting area. Anyway the head of theatre was down in emergency had a look at him and and said operate immediately. The appendix had just burst and they had to keep him in a few days more than usual to check for infections.

        The crux of this story is that I find it perplexing that in the 21st century we do not have a battery of tests that they run that say “from the markers of these 5 tests you have a 70% chance of appendicitis, recommend operating”. The diagnostics for something that would appear to be as basic as appendicitis do not exist. It depends on the quality of the doctor, and believe me like all professionals the quality varies widely. What did impress me is the nursing staff. Perhaps a less stressful job, but none the less always found them professional and caring.

        • ” crux of this story is that I find it perplexing that in the 21st century we do not have a battery of tests that they run that say “from the markers of these 5 tests you have a 70% chance of appendicitis, recommend operating”
          Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. You’d have to open someone up and get a sample from in the appendix to tell if it was infected or not. I’m also not a Dr but suspect many different things cause appendicitis along with a whole lot of other infections in other parts of the body so likely will never be doable to do an external test.

          • Display NameMEMBER

            We are not that blind. Infection in one part of the body is almost certainly reflected in markers elsewhere. You measure the knock-on effects and calibrate to work out where you are. We dont measure temperature directly in a thermometer we measure the expansion of mercury and correlate to temperature.

          • Those tests are already routinely done. A thermometer is quite good, or white blood cell counts. But they don’t tell you anything at all about “where” the infection is. Hence it all comes down to the Dr and his/her judgement.

    • MountainGuinMEMBER

      Can we get Sisi running for office in Aust? So straightforward .

      “He explained that the rate of population growth must be proportional to the resources available to the state, explaining that an increase in population negatively affects all sectors.

      Sisi indicated that living conditions are not improving and the Egyptian people will not notice significant improvement until the population growth rate is under control. “

  3. The parasite is demanding the host fattens up. A lot to dislike in this SMH article:

    Money quote – “But there are fears a sharp drop in the nation’s immigration intake and overall population growth will keep a lid on the property market.“

    Yep. I’ve heard people are very afraid of affordable homes for Australians. It’s soon to be registered as a clinical phobia.

  4. happy valleyMEMBER

    And very gratuitous of the Stockland MD to srpuik on behalf of the property industry and LNP mates as he heads out the door of Stockland to a very, very comfortable retirement or new gig?

  5. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Tangential to this, a flyer for an anti-compulsory vaccination rally just arrived in the mailbox. ‘Million Person March’ apparently.

    The vaccination rollout is going to take a while, due to:
    1. Lack of manufacturing capacity
    2. Lack of trust in the vaccine and government
    3. Social unrest due to the lack of trust

    Scotty’s lack of a moral compass will see a conflation of these issues in the mind of the polity.

    It’s politically hard to open the immigration sluice gates with those conditions. (Not that they won’t try!)

  6. So migrations been hit and tapered off and now we’ve switched to money printing to hold the Property Prices up.

    ScoMo’s pushing the vaccine out as fast as he can while trying to flip us back to Migration again.

    So its all over the television and being rammed down our neck.

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