Macau economy shrinks in the first quarter of 2019

31 May 2019

Macau’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted in the first quarter of 2019 year-on-year, the Secretary for Economy and Finance said on Thursday, without revealing figures.

Leong Vai Tac added that the change was due to the comparison with a high value in the first quarter of 2018, mentioning the amount invested in that period by the government in public works, such as those in the Macau Administration Zone, on the island border of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge.

The secretary also said that gross fixed capital formation, or investment, by companies also declined following the completion of several large-scale projects in 2018 and due to a drop in the number of projects beginning work in the first quarter of 2019.

The aim for this year, according to Leong Vai Tac, is to do everything possible to maintain the “basics,” “although the government continues to strive to ensure steady progress.”

During a meeting with the media, the Secretary pointed out that the quantity of products exported from mainland China through Macau to the United States makes up a relatively small part of the territory’s GDP, and that the direct impact of trade tensions between China and the United States of America is therefore not evident.

Leong Vai Tac gave assurances that the government is prepared for the continuous emergence of uncertain economic factors, including close monitoring by the Monetary Authority of the investment situation of Macau’s financial reserves.

However, he said that the increase in volatility in the economy could have an effect on the purchasing power and the willingness of visitors to consume, alongside the exchange factors that may also reduce the consumption capacity of these visitors, which could affect “export of services” and consumption figures in Macau. (Macauhub)