The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Macau’s gross domestic product (GDP) to fall by 1.3 percent this year and by 1.1 percent in 2020.
The forecast was included in IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook report, published last week. The fund did not provide its reasoning on its forecast for Macau.
In May, the IMF had forecast that the annual rate of growth in Macau’s GDP would be 4.3 percent this year and plateau around 4 percent in the medium term. The fund’s prediction at the time was in light of discussions in April between IMF officials and Macau officials.
The IMF predicted in May that growth in the VIP gaming market in Macau would be subdued in the medium term.
Macau VIP gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell by 22.5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter this year, showed official data published last week. VIP gaming revenue as a proportion of all casino GGR in the third quarter stood at 43.9 percent.
The aggregate of Macau casino GGR for the nine months to September 30 stood at MOP220.30 billion (US$27.28 billion), a contraction of 1.7 percent year-on-year, the government had confirmed on October 1.
Macau’s GDP increased by 4.7 percent year-on-year in real terms last year, according to the city’s Statistics and Census Service. GDP was 9.7 percent for 2017.
According to the IMF, Macau’s economic growth begun moderating in the second half of 2018, as investment weakened and custom from free-spending visitors declined as a result of the deleveraging effort in mainland China and the trade row between the U.S. and the mainland.
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“We see that basically the ‘golden’ periods [for Macau's casino industry] are all concentrated in the second half of this year”
Lei Wai Nong
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance