(Xinhua/Cheong Kam Ka)

Macau’s economy expected to grow by 61pct this year – IMF

Macau’s economy is expected to grow by 61.2 per cent this year, after falling 56.3 per cent in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic, according to the World Economic Outlook released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the document released on Tuesday, Macao’s economy will also have a substantial growth of 43 per cent in 2022.

In 2020, the economy, highly dependent on Chinese tourism, suffered from a drop in the number of visitors due to border restrictions, which resulted in a significant reduction in gambling revenues: casinos in Macau ended 2020 with revenues of MOP60.4 billion (US$7.5 billion), some 79.3 per cent less than in the previous year.

The IMF’s forecasts seem to be in line with the recovery that is already taking place in the gaming industry in Macau: in March 2021 it recorded the best result since the beginning of the pandemic, when it accounted for MOP8.3 billion in revenue and in relation to the same period of 2020, an increase of 58 per cent, according to official data.

According to the document of the World Economic Perspectives released by the IMF, in terms of unemployment, the rate of the world capital will remain low: 2.5 per cent this year and the following year of 2.1 per cent, indicated the IMF.

As for inflation, it is expected to settle at 2.5 per cent in 2021 and at 2.1 per cent the following year, after last year, the IMF indicated, having reached 2.9 per cent.

The IMF revised its global economic growth forecasts up to 6% in 2021, five-tenths more than in January, due to strong growth in the US and China, but warned of significant divergences due to the uneven rate of vaccination.

“Recoveries are diverging dangerously between and within countries,” with economies with a slower rate of vaccination, more limited support and greater reliance on tourism “with worse performance,” said the chief economist at the IMF, Gita Gopinath, in the report with the economic perspectives released today.

For 2022, the IMF forecasts global growth of 4.4 per cent, two-tenths of a percentage point more than three months ago.

One of the revisions is the estimated growth for the United States, the largest economy in the world, which is now expected to expand by 6.4 per cent this year, 1.3 percentage points more than forecast in January.

For China, the IMF expects 8.4 per cent growth this year, three-tenths more than in January, as “its effective containment measures, a powerful public investment response and bank support for liquidity central bank facilitated a robust recovery “.

The economies that will see their growth strengthen this year are Japan, with an estimated expansion of 3.3 per cent (two tenths more than in January), Russia, with a rate of 3.8 per cent for this year (eight tenths more than in January), or South Africa, with a rate of 3.1 per cent in 2021 (three more tenths).

At the head of growth among the main countries will be India, for which the IMF forecasts an expansion of 12.5 per cent ​​this year, one percentage point more than in January.