After a brief slowdown last year, it looks like immigration to Australia is starting to increase again.
As seen in the chart below from Macquarie Bank, based on overseas arrivals and departures data for August released by the ABS, the annual pace of net overseas migration has spiked recently in three-month annualised terms, pushing back to levels last seen at the tail-end of Australia’s second mining boom earlier this decade.
While the ABS warns that “permanent and long-term movements in [the overseas arrivals and departures] publication are not an appropriate source for migration statistics”, as the chart demonstrates, the release does have a reasonable track record as a leading indicator for less-timely migration statistics released by the ABS.
The next set of demographic statistics — containing data for the June quarter this year — won’t be released until late December.
Based on the evidence above, it’s likely to show that net overseas migration is accelerating, perhaps reflecting the improvement in the Australian economy over the past year.