Macau reported its first year-on-year economic contraction in five years in the third quarter of 2014 as gross gaming revenue (GGR) continued to decline.
Gross domestic product (GDP) for the three months ended September 30 fell by 2.1 percent year-on-year in real terms, the first negative quarterly growth since 2009, said the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
Economic growth for the first nine months of 2014 narrowed to 6.0 percent in real terms, according to official data.
“Economic downturn in the third quarter was triggered by a substantial fallback in exports of services, of which continuous decline in exports of gaming services widened further to 12.3 percent and exports of other tourism services decreased by 0.7 percent,” the government’s bureau said on Friday.
Casino revenue in Macau has dropped for five consecutive months since June judged against year prior periods. Until October, mass market gambling had been growing year-on-year even as VIP gambling was retreating in the face of China’s corruption crackdown.
But in October mass-market revenue dropped about 8 percent year-on-year, according to unofficial industry returns quoted by investment analysts. GGR market-wide in Macau dropped by 23 percent year-on-year in October, according to official data.
The decline is expected to continue in November due to the ongoing anti-corruption campaign on the mainland and a worsening Chinese economy, said Wells Fargo Securities LLC.
“We expect November Macau year-on-year gaming revenue growth of -18 percent to -21 percent,” Wells Fargo analysts led by Cameron McKnight wrote in a note.
December growth could also disappoint, Wells Fargo said, adding that results are likely to be affected by the expected visit of President Xi Jinping’s to mark the 15th anniversary of the city’s handover from Portuguese administration.
“Historically, December gaming revenue has seasonally improved 6 percent month-on-month, implying -23 percent year-on-year growth based on current November trends,” said Wells Fargo.
“However, December results could disappoint even further if China President Xi Jinping’s visit to Macau impacts high-end visitation. If we do not see a sequential increase from November’s run rate, December growth could be down 25 percent year-on-year, below expectations and consensus estimates,” it added.
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President and chief executive of casino equipment provider Scientific Games