Almost MOP1 bln already spent in first 20 days of consumer card scheme

In just the first 20 days of the consumer e-voucher scheme set to add MOP2.1 billion (US$262.8 million) to the local market, local residents have already spent about MOP962 million, the Macau Economic Bureau (DSE) revealed today (Friday).

Since the consumer card began was initiated on May 1, there have been more than 9 million transactions with 561,000 people have already used the cards.

Per capita spending for the scheme has been MOP1,714 with a total of about 590,000 people already having collected their cards and with more than 58 per cent consumer cardholders already having used more than half of their individual MOP3,000 amount.

The scheme provided MOP3,000 to each resident and non-permanent resident permit holders, to be used between May and July and with a MOP300 daily limit set.

The cards can only be used in local businesses equipped with Macau Pass payment terminals.

About 23 per cent of the total spent was used in the local food and beverage industry mostly in ‘yam cha’ restaurants and noodle shops, with supermarkets absorbing 21.4 per cent of the total used.

Another consumer e-card round will be initiated in August, this time with MOP5,000 granted to each cardholder, for a MOP3.6 billion in public funds to be injected in the market.

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong stated before that an evaluation would be carried out to assess if the scheme led to an increase in local inflation before the new consumer voucher round starts.

The inflation rate in Macau has increased to 2.62 per cent in April, mainly due to increases in the prices of education (+5.39 per cent), transport (+4,16 per cent) and food products and non-alcoholic drinks (+4.68 per cent).