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Expats Returning Home Has Helped Cushion Nz Retail

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Expats Returning Home Has Helped Cushion Nz Retail

New Zealand's net migration gain of 15,600 in the year to August 2008 has without doubt helped New Zealand retailers avoid the big troughs seen in the United Kingdom and United States, says Cameron Brewer, chief executive of the Newmarket Business Association.

"Let's not forget that with a population of now 4.3 million there are more people living here than ever before. Inbound tourism numbers have also held up relatively well, down only 1% on August last year with the number of Australian tourists actually up. A big inflow of expats, inbound tourism holding its own, and growth in domestic tourism, all while international departures have dropped off has without doubt been good our for New Zealand's retail sector."

Cameron Brewer points to nationwide Paymark figures that showed retail spending was notably up across New Zealand for Queen's Birthday Weekend this year compared to 2008. Paymark, which accounts for 75% of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, reported that the value of retail spending was up 3.1% for Queen's Birthday Weekend on the previous year.

"In Auckland we've been seeing more people staying home and not going on that overseas holiday. Kiwis have also seen more of their overseas friends and family returning home for good. The shine has certainly come off work opportunities in the UK and US. The brain drain has now become more of a brain reclaim," says Mr Brewer.

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