Macau’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) saw growth of 38.8% in the first quarter (Q1) of this year compared to the same period of 2022, a release from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) has confirmed.
The DSEC attributed the rise to positive factors such as the relaxation of border control measures, the full resumption of travel between Hong Kong and Macau, and the restart of group tours from the mainland to Macau.
During the first quarter, exports of services surged 71.5% year-on-year, with exports of gaming services and exports of other tourism services increasing by 100% and 72.9% respectively. At the same time, exports of goods reduced by 40.6%.
Domestic demand increased by 1.6% year-on-year, mainly driven by the government’s final consumption expenditure.
The imports of goods recorded a drop of 6.9%, unlike the imports of services which rose by 24%.
The economic output of Macau recovered to 66.4% of its level in Q1 of 2019 (pre-pandemic) with the implicit deflator of GDP, which measures the overall changes in prices, going up by 2.5% year-on-year.
The DSEC also noted that, despite a steady economic recovery, household final consumption expenditure in the domestic market dropped by 12.1% year-on-year, stemming from a shift in part of the private consumption expenditure to government spending caused by livelihood subsidies, combined with a decrease in the population and the resumption of outbound travel by residents after the pandemic.
Concurrently, household final consumption expenditure abroad grew by 53.5%.
Overall private consumption went down by 7.5% year-on-year.
expenditure plays a significant role
During the same period, the government’s final consumption expenditure increased by 30.1% year-on-year, due to higher expenditure on economic relief measures such as livelihood subsidies and electricity subsidies, compared to the same quarter last year. Net purchases of goods and services rose by 80.5% while compensation of employees rose by just 0.2%.
Gross fixed capital formation decreased by 0.5% year-on-year, of which construction investment grew by 0.1% while equipment investment dropped by 3%.
Public construction investment went up by 28.2%, resulting from increased investment in the construction of public housing and the fourth Macau-Taipa bridge; meanwhile, equipment investment shrank by 7.5%.
Conversely, private investment shrank, with construction investment falling 17.5% year-on-year owing to reduced investment in casinos, and equipment investment down by 2.5%.