Strong exports of gaming services and tourism helped drive Macau’s gross domestic product (GDP) to an almost double-digit percentage growth in the first three months of 2018.
On Wednesday, Macau’s Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) announced that the city-state’s economy expanded by 9.2 percent in the January to March 31, 2018 period, higher than the 8 percent growth recorded in the previous quarter.
Macau’s economy remains dependent on gaming and tourism business as reflected on the 16 percent growth of its total exports of services. “Exports of services performed satisfactorily and became the major driving force for economic growth,” DSEC said in a statement.
Exports of gaming services grew 16.5 percent, unchanged from the previous quarter, while exports of other tourism services rose 19.6 percent from 15.4 percent in the previous quarter.
Imports of services, on the other hand, jumped 34.2 percent year-on-year, according to DSEC.
Macau’s economy also relied on the recovery of domestic demand, with private consumption spending showing significant growth, according to DSEC. Private consumption expenditure climbed by 4.8 percent from the 2.7 percent growth in the previous quarter.
Household final consumption expenditure in the domestic market and abroad increased by 5.3 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively. The growth of domestic demand was tempered by government final consumption expenditure, which slowed to 2.2 percent.
Macau also saw a 1.9 percent decline in investments while the implicit deflator of GDP, which measures the overall changes in prices, went up by 3.4 percent year-on-year.
The former Portuguese enclave also saw an improvement in its gross fixed capital formation, thanks to increased government investment. From 14.1 percent in the previous quarter, Macau was able to substantially taper off the gross fixed capital formation decline to 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
“Merchandise trade remained buoyant. As the economy steadily resumed growth, total demand expanded constantly, with exports and imports of goods rising by 12.8 percent and 7 percent respectively year-on-year,” the government said.