(Xinhua/Cheong Kam Ka)

UM revises GDP predictions to possible 54.5pct to 60pct fall in 2020

The University of Macau’s (UM) Centre for Macau Studies and Department of Economics has revised its 2020 Macau Macroeconomic Forecast for the third time this year.

The university now predicts a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) falls between 54.5 per cent and 60 per cent for this year, according to different scenarios predicting a total in visitor numbers between 5.16 million and 12.66 million.

According to the university, the most likely scenarios for this year correspond to a number of visitors between 5.16 million and 7.92 million visitors, with a GDP growth similar to that recorded in 2005, but if the economy rebounds in the second half of this year, visit numbers from 9.9 million and 12.66 million are expected to materialise.

Meanwhile, 2020 is also expected to see an inflation growth between 2.1 per cent to 2.2 per cent, in tandem with consumer price, while average monthly employment earnings could go down by 5.8 per cent to 6.7 per cent.

Excluding non-resident workers, the unemployment rate for residents is expected to be 3.2 per cent to 3.9 per cent.

‘The coronavirus outbreak mainly affects Macau’s economic growth, with less impact on the two major economic variables: unemployment rate and inflation rate. This is how Macao’s economy is affected differently by the pandemic compared to other economies. The epidemic is a short-term shock to Macau’s economy,’. the UM report stated.

The Macau SAR government revenue is also expected to drop to a value between MOP71.3 billion and MOP92.9 billion.

‘The macroeconomic policy and objective should aim to stabilise the labour market in the short run, prevent the closedown of businesses, and maintain the confidence of producers and consumers, in order to promote a gradual economic recovery,’ the report added.