Economy at 77% of pre-pandemic levels

The city’s economy expanded by 116.1% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2023, attributable to thriving services exports. Notably,  growth in gaming services exports and other tourism services grew by 781.4% and 255.4% respectively.

The city’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been recovering (albeit from a low base) since borders reopened in January after nearly three years of shutdown.

Meanwhile, domestic demand increased 15.7% due to a continued rebound in gross fixed capital formation and private consumption expenditure. These factors have contributed to the strong and sustained economic recovery of the SAR.

Data from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) indicated imports of goods and services rose 25.7% and 58.2% respectively, whereas exports of goods reduced by 9%.

For the first three quarters of 2023, GDP surged 77.7% year-on-year in real terms, and Macau’s overall economic output returned to 77.4% of its 2019 level during the same period.

Meanwhile, the improving economic environment and employment situation continued to boost private consumption. Overall private consumption increased 29.6% year-on-year, an accelerated growth from the second quarter. Household final consumption expenditure in the domestic market and abroad rose 22.4% and 138.7% respectively year-on-year.

Fitch Ratings had anticipated growth of up to 65% in Macau’s economy this year, driven by sustained recovery in the gaming and tourism sector.

The ratings institution had anticipated it could take until at least end-2025 for GDP to return to 2019 levels, “along with moderate non-gaming diversification.”

The local government previously echoed the statement noting that gaming concessionaires are positioned to promote the development of non-gaming elements.

Meanwhile, government final consumption expenditure fell 23.6% year-on-year, owing to the conclusion of the SAR government’s livelihood subsidy scheme. Net purchases of goods and services decreased 41.7% while compensation of employees rose 3.1%.

Despite the budget remaining in the red for next year, Ho Iat Seng said in August that the government would maintain population livelihood allowances for 2024.

However, Ho said in his recent Policy Address that there will be no additional support measures for the populace or companies next year, other than those already previously announced due to budget constraints.

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