The first quarter of 2016 saw the average daily construction worker’s wage decrease 1.8 per cent quarter-to-quarter to MOP779 (US$97.47), according to data released by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) yesterday. The decrease is attributed to a reduction in overtime payments for large-scale constructions in Cotai as well as representing slackening wage growth from the last quarter of 2015 when, according to DSEC data, the average daily wage increased 9.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter. However, at the time a predicted slowdown in construction expenses across Asia was focused on commercial and residential development rates having peaked, Business Daily reported. The first quarter of 2016 saw the average daily wage for local construction workers – MOP990 daily – drop 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter, while non-resident construction workers saw their wages fall 2.2 per cent to MOP653 daily compared to the previous quarter. Compared to the first quarter of 2015 the average daily wage for skilled and semi-skilled workers (MOP787), non-skilled workers (MOP392), concrete formwork carpenters (MOP850) and structural iron erectors (MOP863) decreased by 1.4 per cent, 0.3 per cent, 5.9 per cent and 6.9 per cent, respectively; painters and carpenters were the only sector to see an average daily wage increase of 3.5 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively. Discounting the effects of inflation the wage index of construction workers, 100.7, for the first quarter of 2016 decreased by 2.1 per cent quarter-to-quarter and local construction workers’ – 129.0 – increased by 1.3 per cent. Regarding construction materials the average price of concrete has increased for nine consecutive quarters, rising 2.9 per cent quarter-to-quarter to MOP827 per cubic metre in the first quarter of 2016. The average price of spiral and rebars decreased by 0.8 per cent to MOP4,290 per tonne. Meanwhile, the price index of construction materials for residential buildings (132.1) in the first quarter of 2016 rose slightly by 0.3 per cent. Macau was considered the second most expensive Asian city to build in at the end of 2015, according to the International Construction Costs Index, placing the MSAR in fifth place in the global market, Business Daily reported.