Year-to-date growth through March has been 13%, with February growing 18% compared to 2016. Fitch’s 2017 forecast assumes low single-digit range month-over-month sequential growth for the remainder of the year compared to 4% average sequential growth since July 2016.
Fitch’s analysts expect fixed investments in China, an important driver for VIP gaming, to grow 4.3% in 2017, down from 5.7% in 2016. The mass market will be driven by healthy consumer spending, for which it also forecasts 7.5% growth in 2017.
Fitch maintains a positive long-term outlook on Macau, which should benefit from the rising middle class in China and surrounding infrastructure development such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, the permanent Taipa ferry terminal set to open in May, a rail link to Zhuhai airport and intracity light rail.