5. Briefly in our political economy

In the April 2018 year, migrant arrivals on work visas rose 5 percent to 46,400, while there was a 14 percent fall in arrivals on residence visas, compared with a year ago. Stats NZ.

News in brief in our political economy on Monday included,

More work visas - Net migration in the year to April fell to a two-year low of 67,038 from 71,885 the previous year, Statistics New Zealand reported yesterday. The return home of those on temporary work and student visas mostly drove the fall, but the number of people arriving on work visas continued to rise and student visa numbers were flat.

Net migration fell to a seasonally adjusted 4,930 in the month of April from 5,380 in March. Work visa numbers in the year to April rose 5.4 percent or 2,384 to 46,375 in the year to April from a year ago, more than offsetting the 14.3 percent or 2,378 fall in residence visas to 14,300 over the year.

Softer sales - Retail sales rose in the March quarter, but were lower than expected on weaker fuel and motor vehicle and parts retailing after a biosecurity threat squeezed car imports, Statistics NZ reported yesterday.

Retail sales volumes rose 0.1 percent in the March quarter on an adjusted basis for seasonal and price effects, from a revised 1.4 percent gain in the fourth quarter, Statistics New Zealand said. Economists had expected retail sales volumes to lift 1 percent.