Macau’s gross domestic product shrank 4.7 per cent in real terms last year, the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC) announced on Saturday.
It was Macau’s first negative GDP growth in three years. In 2017 and 2018 the economy grew 9.1 per cent and 4.7 per cent, respectively, after three consecutive years of negative growth.
Saturday’s DSEC statement noted that Macau has experienced negative growth since the first quarter of 2019 due to decreases in investment and exports of services.
Domestic demand fell 4.6 per cent and gross fixed capital formation dropped 20.1 per cent as private construction investment “showed a dramatic decline,” the statement said.
“Despite an increase in total employment and employment earnings, the growth in private consumption expenditure slowed to 2.9 per cent on the back of cautious consumer spending due to economic uncertainties,” the statement said.
The statement also pointed out that visitors’ total spending decreased in spite of an increase in visitor arrivals, and gross revenue from games of chance dropped at an “accelerating” pace as from the third quarter. Consequently, the statement underlined, exports of services slid by 3. 4 per cent, with exports of gaming services and other tourism services falling 4.0 per cent and 5.7 per cent, respectively. Exports of goods fell 8.3 per cent.
According to the statement, GDP amounted to MOP 434.7 billion (US$54.17 billion) last year when per-capita GDP stood at 645,438 patacas (US$80,400).
In terms of Macau’s GDP structure last year, the relative importance of net exports of goods and services to GDP was 50.1 per cent and the relative importance of domestic demand to GDP stood at 49.9 per cent, with the share of investment falling 3.0 percentage points.
GDP in the third and fourth quarters fell 4.4 per cent and 8.1 per cent, respectively.