Macau, China, 30 Mar – Macau’s GDP fell 7.6 percent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2008, the first year-on-year negative growth over the past five year, according to figures released by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) on Friday.
For the whole of last year, GDP reached a record US$ 21,483 billion (171.87 billion patacas) at current prices, a year-on-year increase of 13.2 percent in real terms, compared with a growth of 25.3 percent in 2007, 16.5 percent in 2006, 6.9 percent in 2005 and 27.3 percent in 2004.
Due to falling gaming revenues, shrinking investments and decreasing merchandise exports,in the fourth quarter of last year, gross gaming revenue (excluding gratuities) dropped 2.3 percent in nominal terms, the first quarterly decline since the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) in December 1999.
GDP for the first and second quarter of last year was revised upward from 32.3 percent and 22.2 percent to 32.5 percent and 22.4 percent, respectively, while that for the third quarter was revised downward from 11.3 percent to 10.4 percent.
Total visitor spending (excluding gaming expenses) decreased 6.5 percent, gross fixed capital formation declined 15.1 percent and exports of goods fell 44. 6 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter.
In nominal terms, GDP dropped 3.6 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, the first decrease since the second quarter of 2003, when GDP went down 2.4 percent in nominal terms.
At constant prices, GDP stood at 32.4 billion patacas in the fourth quarter of last year. At current prices, GDP amounted to 40.66 billion patacas – the lowest quarterly figure since the third quarter of 2007.
In real terms, GDP decreased 7.6 percent in the last quarter of 2008, the first decline since the second quarter of 2003, when GDP dropped 3.1 percent in real terms.
In terms of major GDP components, private consumption expenditure increased 9.4 percent in the fourth quarter, as against a real year-on-year growth of 5.1 percent in the previous quarter.
Government final consumption expenditure went down 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a real year-on-year decline of 7.8 percent in the previous quarter.
In the private sector, total investment contracted by 17.5 percent in the fourth quarter, namely on account of a 12.5 percent decrease in construction investment and 32.1 percent drop in equipment investment.
Total government investment fell 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter.
Exports of gaming services decreased 3.2 percent year-on-year in real terms, while total visitor spending (excluding gaming expenses) dropped 6.5 percent.
The overall export of services recorded a decrease of 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
According with The Macau Post Daily Macau’s GDP growth was the highest in the greater China area last year.
Hong Kong’s GDP rose a mere 2.5 percent last year, when Taiwan’s GDP grew just 0.12 percent and the mainland increased by nine percent.
The Macau Post Daily also said in tody’s edition that according to a preliminary regional comparison, Macau’s per capita GDP was the second highest in Asia last year, after Japan.