Macau’s gross domestic product (GDP) has finally snapped a two-year contraction amid a recovery in casino receipts.
GDP grew 4 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the third quarter, the first positive quarterly growth recorded over the past two years, the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC) announced yesterday.
The bureau attributed the return to growth to a rebound in both exports of services and investment. The gain brought an end to a slide that was at its worst in the second quarter last year, when the economy shrank by nearly a quarter.
Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said last week he was confident that the local economy will recover to grow in the low single digits next year.
According to a statement by the bureau, external demand showed improvement, leading to a pickup in exports of gaming services and exports of other tourism services, rising 0.2 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively year-on-year, an upswing from the second quarter.
Domestic demand recovered and private consumption resumed growth.
The statement said that the city’s sustained favourable employment situation and reduced inflationary pressure pushed private consumption expenditure up by 0.3 per cent year-on-year, ending its downward trend in the previous two quarters.
However, the bureau noted that expenditure on durable goods remained weak, showing that households were still relatively cautious about spending on non-essential items.
Investment gained momentum in the third quarter. Gross fixed capital formation, a gauge of investment, grew 2.3 per cent year-on-year, rebounding from the second quarter when it fell 20 per cent. Investment growth was underpinned by an increase in private investment, the statement said.
Service trade returned to positive growth. Due to increases in visitor arrivals and spending, exports of services grew 3.3 per cent year-on-year, putting an end to the downtrend over the past two years.
In the first three quarters, the economy shrank 5.4 per cent in real terms.