The Economist predicts 5.5pct recession in Macau this year and 3.3pct by 2020

An analyst from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) analyst who follows the economy of Macau predicted to Lusa today that the territory will face a recession this and next year, but will return to a 2.9 per cent growth in 2022.

“We expect the economy to go into recession this year and next year, mainly as a result of the economic slowdown in China, which will weigh on tourism flows and gaming spending in Macau, causing GDP to fall 5.9 per cent this year,” said Nick Marro.

In an interview with Lusa, the analyst at The Economist magazine’s unit of analysis says he expects the Macanese economy “to slow the recession to 3.3 per cent by 2020, amid a recovery in gambling and investment revenues, and a forecast of an agreement between the United States and China this year”.

This, they point out, “should lead to a slight recovery in business and consumer confidence in China, leading to increased tourism to Macau.”

From a public policy standpoint, the forecast points to continued government difficulties in diversifying the economy, based heavily on gambling revenues.

“We hope the Government will continue to struggle with its political efforts to diversify the economy beyond the game for at least the next two years,” says Nathan Hayes, noting that “volatility in this sector will continue to weigh negatively on activity this year, particularly due to the slowdown in the Chinese economy.”

According to the latest figures from the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ), cumulative gross revenues from January to November totaled MOP269.62 billion, down 2.4 per cent from the same period of last year.

In the same period of 2018, accumulated gross revenues amounted to MOP276.38 billion.