Macau’s third-quarter exports of gaming services and other tourism services fell by 93.6 percent and 87.9 percent respectively, judged year-on-year, contributing to a 63.8 percent fall in the city’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the period, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. That is according to data released on Friday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
The latest result took the cumulative decline in Macau GDP for the calendar year to September 30, to 59.8 percent.
Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) had fallen by 93.1 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, and 82.5 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2020, according to separate data released by the local casino regulator.
The quarterly decline in GDP was “smaller” in the three months to September 30 than in the previous quarter, due to a “rebound in visitor arrivals following the easing of travel restrictions for Mainland residents to visit Macau,” said the statistics bureau.
Macau’s aggregate exports of services “fell at a slower rate of 87.5 percent in the third quarter,” while the city’s exports of goods soared by 252.2 percent year-on-year.
Fitch Ratings Inc said in an April memo it expected Macau to experience “a much deeper economic contraction in 2020” than ‘AA’ credit-rated peers “whose economies are less dependent on tourism”.
According to the statistic’s bureau, economic activity in Macau “gradually recovered” in the three months to September 30.
Household final consumption expenditure in the domestic market showed a smaller decline of 8.4 percent, underpinned by the consumption subsidy scheme, whereby Macau ID holders were issued with stored-value cards with credit to be spent on local services.
During the third quarter, the Macau government’s final consumption expenditure rose by 18.6 percent year-on-year, an acceleration from the preceding quarter. The statistics bureau said the third-quarter increase in public spending was related to tackling the pandemic and providing economic relief measures.
Investment in fixed assets in the three months to September 30 fell by 5.6 percent from the prior-year period, with investment in construction down 10.3 percent, said the Statistics and Census Service. Private-construction investment decreased by 7.2 percent from a year earlier, “owing to reduced investment in residential projects,” said the bureau.
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“We expect Las Vegas Sands to not have any material change in strategy. The focus remains developing Macau and Singapore”
Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu and Tianjiao Yu
Analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein