Macau economy to see growth in 2010

28 January 2010

Macau, China, 28 Jan – The Macau economy is expected to continue to grow this year, driven by large construction projects such as the Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong bridge and the light railway, said the Macau Monetary Authority.

“In 2010 the economy is expected to have positive growth, but there is some uncertainty in external terms and a threat of a second flu pandemic,” warned the institution’s most recent report.

Thus, the Monetary Authority suggests that the government should adopt “appropriate measures” to make it possible to accompany external economic and financial developments and take measures to combat local transmission of the flu, “in order to maintain the growth of a city that lives off tourism.”

According to the report, 2010 will be a much better year than 2009, with private investment recovering, the tourism sector seeing good performance and the gaming and gambling sector returning to better days.

The current year will bring good news in terms of public investment, due to two large projects – construction of the Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong bridge started in December 2009, and the start of the first phase of the light railway, scheduled for the second half of the year.

These projects, as well as a local project to build social housing, will have a positive effect on employment with the unemployment rate falling to 3 percent or less.

The Macau Monetary Authority said that recovery of the economy could have a non-desired effect on the real estate market with a possible rise in rental prices in the short term.

It concluded by saying that Macau faced the 2009 recession much better than many other economies, due to some measures taken by the government, such as reducing imported labour and creating jobs by launching public works and training and employment programmes. (macauhub)