Macau’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 48.7 percent year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter of 2020, said on Saturday the city’s Statistics and Census Service. It was the fifth straight quarterly decline in the city’s economic output, according to the data.
The statistics bureau said in a release the Covid-19 pandemic had “significantly dampened” global economic activity. “Although no widespread transmission of the virus was observed within the city, the economy of Macau, which was mainly driven by exports of services, was severely hit amid the epidemic, with a substantial decline in total demand,” it stated.
For the first three months of 2020, Macau’s GDP at current prices was MOP56.58 billion (US$7.09 billion), down by 47.7 percent in year-on-year terms, said the statistics bureau.
Real exports of gaming services from Macau – a measure of what visiting gamblers contribute to GDP – fell by 61.5 percent in the first quarter of this year from a year earlier, according to official data.
The announcement said first-quarter real exports of other tourism services – what visitors contribute to GDP other than by gambling – shrank by 63.9 percent. First-quarter real investment declined by 36.7 percent.
Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau fell by 60.0 percent year-on-year in the first three months of this year. Such GGR was MOP30.49 billion, according to official data. Official data showed that total first-quarter spending by tourists in Macau, excluding gambling expenses, declined 70.4 percent year-on-year to MOP5.01 billion.
The dip mirrored the 68.9 percent year-on-year decline in visitor arrivals – to just over 3.2 million – during the three months to March 31, a tally that the statistics bureau said had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In late April, Fitch Ratings Inc said it expected Macau to experience a “much deeper economic contraction” in 2020 than other ‘AA’ -rated peers “whose economies are less dependent on tourism”. The ratings agency said it projected Macau’s economy would shrink for a second straight year, declining by 24 percent in 2020.
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