Macau’s economy shrinks from January to March after 10 consecutive quarters of growth

4 June 2019

Macau’s economy contracted by 3.2% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, ending a series of 10 consecutive quarters of growth, according to the Statistics and Census Bureau.

The pressure of the economic slowdown has intensified, mainly due to the weakening of global demand, resulting in insufficient growth momentum, said the statement released on Monday.

External demand slowed significantly in the first quarter, with exports of services falling by 0.3%, particularly 0.6% in exports of gaming services and 0.3% in exports of other tourist services, while exports of goods fell by 1.8%.

Domestic demand continued to weaken, with a year-on-year decline of 9.4%, driven mainly by a sharp decline in fixed assets investment, with private consumption expenditure and government consumption rising by 2.1% and 4.1%, respectively, offsetting some of the decline seen in the economic downturn.

The implicit Gross Domestic Product (GDP) deflator, which measures global price variation, registered annual growth of 3.2%, according to the bureau.

Gross fixed capital formation in the first quarter saw an annual decline of 31.7%, driven primarily by the annual contraction of construction investment of 37.5%, although equipment investment increased by 4.5%.

Public investment, following completion of construction of the Macau Administration Zone on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Artificial Frontier Island, in which the government invested heavily, fell by 82.3%, with investment and equipment contracting 75.6%.

Private investment showed no signs of improvement, dropping by 15.0% year-on-year, with a 20.4% decline in construction investment, either due to the successful completion of major projects or as a result of the small number of projects initiated recently, although investment in equipment increased by 11.3%. (Macauhub)