Macau 1Q GDP Increased by 39% as Gaming Exports Doubled
According to figures from the city’s Statistics and Census Service, Macau’s GDP increased by 38.8 percent in real terms year over year in the first quarter of this year.
According to the statistics bureau, the increase was “on account of positive factors such as the relaxation of border control measures, the full resumption of personnel exchanges between Hong Kong and Macau, and the resumption of group tours from mainland China to Macau,” according to a report released on Thursday.
The data revealed a 71.5 percent year-over-year increase in service exports during the three months ending on March 31. The exports of gaming services and other tourism services in particular saw a year-over-year increase of 100.0 percent and 72.9 percent, respectively.
When measuring Macau’s GDP, gaming services are counted as exports. This is done in order to reflect how much money visitors spend at the city’s casinos.
The majority of the growth in Macau’s domestic demand—1.6% year over year—came from government final consumption expenditures. The Macau economy returned to 66.4 percent of its first-quarter 2019 level, the final full trade year before the Covid-19 outbreak began in early 2020.
As a result of the removal of Covid-19-related travel restrictions in early January, the number of visitors arriving in Macau in the first quarter of 2023 increased by 163.7 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching 4.95 million. According to official figures, the first-quarter total represented 48.4% of the number of visitors during the same quarter of 2019.
Gross gaming revenue (GGR) from casinos in Macau reached MOP34.64 billion (US$4.29 billion) in the three months ending on March 31, a 94.9 percent increase over the same time last year. Casino GGR increased 15.6 percent month over month to MOP14.72 billion in April, the greatest monthly result since January 2020.
After growing by 18.0 percent in 2021, Macau’s GDP decreased by 26.8 percent in full year 2022.
According to the “Macroeconomic Forecast for Macao 2023” report, released in February by the University of Macau, Macau’s GDP might increase by up to 44.1 percent this year. According to the study, such a significant increase would be associated with a significant recovery in the city’s casino and tourism industries.
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