Gov’t current revenues drop by 65pct y-on-y in Jan-Nov

Revenue collected by the Macau government has dropped by 30 per cent year-on-year to some MOP86.8 billion (US$10.8 billion) between January and November, while total public expenditure rose by 15 per cent to MOP78.6 billion, the government’s execution budget published by the Financial Service Bureau (DSF) today (Friday) reveals.

The drop generated by the Covid-19 pandemic impact is more pronounced if one only considers current revenues, excluding capital revenues, which dropped by 65.3 per cent to MOP42.1 billion, as gaming taxes collected by the local authorities plunged.

In total, the Macau government collected MOP27.1 billion in direct gaming taxes, after the same period last year saw some MOP104 billion enter public coffers.

Local authorities also repeatedly revised gaming tax revenue estimates for this year, with the current estimate at some MOP50 billion, an unlikely number to be reached considering that only one month remains.

Still, the Macau government collected almost MOP2.8 billion in gaming tax revenue in November, a 203 per cent jump from the month prior, as local gaming revenues gradually improve as travel mainland tourists resume.

Transfer, funding and subsidies represented the largest public expenditures this year as authorities rolled out several financial measures to boost local consumption and assists struggling SMEs, with some MOP50.7 billion spent, a 22.5 per cent increase from the same period last year.

In 2020 the local government also injected some MOP42.5 billion from the local financial reserve to balance the budget, helping the local budget still finish the year with a reported MOP8 billion surplus.