(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s working-age population increased at a slower pace in the year through March, suggesting that a surge in foreign workers entering the country may have reached its peak.

The number of residents aged 15 years and over who could work rose by 130,600 in the 12-month period to an estimated 4,297,700, Statistics New Zealand said Wednesday in Wellington. That’s down from a record 135,500 gain in the year ended December.

Still, revisions show that the working-age population is much larger than previously indicated. The level at the end of 2023 was 12,200 larger than originally reported.

Signs of a peak in growth of the nation’s labor pool are evidence that a surge in immigration may be starting to ebb. While the population increase has eased pressure on wages and improved capacity in the economy, fears that new arrivals could stoke demand have prompted the Reserve Bank to retain a hawkish tilt. 

Read More: New Zealand Immigration Peak Revised Higher as Fewer Departed

In February, policymakers signaled they expect to keep the Official Cash Rate at 5.5% until 2025. The RBNZ reviews the benchmark rate on April 10 and investors expect no change.

Today’s report showed the labor pool gained by 28,900 in the first quarter, slowing from a revised 31,100 in the fourth quarter and a record 35,900 in the second quarter last year.

The fourth-quarter increase was previously reported as 24,500.

The RBNZ in February projected the working-age population would grow by 22,000 in the first quarter and by 113,000 in the year through March.

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