Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong says the government is confident that Macau’s economy will record “modest” growth this year.
Leong made the remarks on Friday at the headquarters of the local branch of Bank of China (BOC) on the sidelines of a Chinese New Year reception hosted by the Macau Association of Banks (ABM), saying that while Macau’s economy in the first half of last year continued the downward trend seen in 2015, the second half of 2016 recorded a “relatively stable” performance, which narrowed last year’s overall year-on-year decline.
The Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC) is scheduled to release gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the fourth quarter and the whole of last year on March 3rd, according to its website.
The bureau announced in November that Macau’s GDP grew 4.0 percent in real terms year-on-year in the third quarter, “the first positive quarterly growth recorded over the past two years, attributable to a rebound in both exports of services and investment.”
In the first half year of 2016, the economy contracted by 10.3 percent in real terms, according to the bureau.
Leong said on Friday that the economy’s stable performance would continue this year, provided that there won’t be any “sudden” economic changes.
Leong also said the government’s economic growth expectations were subject to various domestic and external factors. The policy secretary mentioned as an example possible changes to currency exchange rates that might have an impact on export markets around the world.
Meanwhile, a report by the University of Macau (UM) last month predicted that Macau’s GDP will grow 3.2 percent this year.