Macau’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 9.2 percent year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter this year, an expansion fuelled by an increase in visitors’ spending and in “exports of gaming services”, show the latest data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
Macau gaming services are counted as exports when calculating the city’s GDP, as most of the consumers of such services are inbound tourists.
In its latest release, the statistics service stated that such exports rose by 16.5 percent year-on-year during the first quarter, a growth rate similar to the previous quarter. In the January to March period, exports of non-gaming tourism services grew by 19.6 percent.
Total exports of services – described by the statistics service as the “major driving force” for the city’s economic growth – expanded by 16 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, a rise supported by an increase in the number of visitor arrivals and of spending of such tourists, the government release stated.
In a World Economic Outlook report released in April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it expected Macau’s GDP to grow by 7.0 percent this year and 6.1 percent in 2019.
Macau’s GDP increased by 9.1 percent year-on-year in real terms for full-year 2017, helped by increases in exports and services and in investment, official records show. The 2017 GDP result was the first annual rise since 2013.
Macau’s GDP performance trend in recent years has coincided with the performance of casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the city, highlighting the importance of the gaming sector to the local economy. The gaming business was negatively affected by a slump in GGR that began in June 2014 and extended for two years, which investment analysts covering the casino industry said coincided with an anti-corruption campaign in mainland China.
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”I would expect that there might be some clearly-defined criteria … and I’m supportive of a more clearly-defined roadmap for the [gaming] industry”
Co-chairperson and executive director of Macau casino operator MGM China