Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac revealed Thursday that Macau’s economy in the first quarter experienced negative growth year-on-year, primarily due to the high base of comparison in the same quarter of last year.
However, the policy secretary also said that the ongoing China-US trade row has not had a noticeable impact on Macau’s economy.
Leong made the remarks while speaking to reporters at the Bank of China (BOC) Building in Nam Van on the sidelines of the signing ceremony of a financial cooperation agreement between commercial banks in Macau and those in Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs).
When asked about the possible impact on Macau by the China-US trade war, Leong said that the Economic Services Bureau (DSE) has been closely monitoring possible changes in the volume of merchandise exported by the mainland to the US via Macau. Leong noted that the mainland’s exports to the US via Macau only account for a small percentage of Macau’s GDP. Leong insisted that therefore the China-US trade spat has not had a noticeable direct impact on the city’s GDP.
Leong also revealed that the statistics of the first quarter’s gross domestic product (GDP) to be announced soon shows that Macau’s economy in the first quarter suffered year-on-year negative growth, primarily due to the high base of comparison in the first quarter of 2018.
Leong said that for investment in public projects, the first quarter of last year coincided with the checkpoint construction project of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which resulted in high expenditure by the government on investment in public projects. Leong said that consequently the situation caused the government’s investment in construction projects in the first quarter of this year to suffer a huge decrease.
The Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC) is slated to announce Macau’s first quarter’s GDP next Monday.
Leong said that for the private investment segment of the GDP, as many large-scale projects in the private sector were completed last year, and also the number of new projects carried out during the first quarter of this year recorded year-on-year decreases, private investment therefore also recorded a large year-on-year drop in the first quarter of this year.
Leong said that the service export segment remained stable in the first quarter.
Leong said that the government would strive to maintain the “basics” of Macau’s economy this year, while it would be difficult for Macau’s economy to advance much this year.(Macaunews)