Macao Economic Situation
Macao economy had been out of the shadow of the global financial crisis, and showed strong growth during the first half of 2010. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 40.2% in real terms to MOP102.74 billion. Export of services and private consumption expenditure led to growth of the economy, which increased by 60.9% and 4.4% in real terms respectively. Gross fixed capital formation, which recorded continued contraction, declined by 34.0% in real terms. In public accounts, total revenue ascended by 39.2% to MOP35.52 billion, while total expenditure decreased by 33.0% to MOP8.87 billion. Consumer Price Index went up by 2.1%, with 4.5% and 5.7% increase on Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Miscellaneous Goods and Services respectively, while Housing and Fuels fell by 0.5%. In the labor market, total labor force in Macao was 326 thousand in the 2nd quarter of 2010. The labor force participation rate was 71.6%. The unemployment rate, when compared with that of the same period in 2009, dropped by 0.8 percentage point to 2.8%. Meanwhile, the overall median of monthly employment earnings maintained to the level of MOP 8,500.
For external merchandise trade, under the global economic recovery and continued expansion of internal demand, both imports and exports were improved considerably. Total exports stabilized after experiencing high double-digit slump, with the rate of decrease narrowed to 7.1% and recorded MOP3.62 billion. However there was not any improvement for the export of textiles and garments, the major exports items, which fell sharply by 48.9% to MOP770 million. Meanwhile, total imports returned to growth and went up by 20.9% to MOP20.48 billion. Consumer goods, raw materials and semi-manufactures, which were the major import items, made up 73.1% of total imports. Furthermore, the trade deficit for the first half of the year amounted to MOP16.86 billion, and Mainland China, the United States, the European Union and Hong Kong continued to be Macao’s major trading partners.
Local retail markets kept growing at a relatively fast pace. The total sales volume for the first half of the year increased by 34.6% to MOP13.77 billion, for which retail sales of Watches, Clocks and Jewellery surged by 51.6% to MOP3.27 billion, while that of Goods in Department Stores and Adult’s Clothing rose by 40.3% and 42.2% respectively to MOP2.06 billion and MOP1.33 billion. On the other hand, Leather Goods sharply went up by 66.2% to MOP1.29 billion.
In the tourism industry, total number of visitors increased by 17.9% to 12.229 million in the first half of the year, among them, 6.508 million came from Mainland China, representing an increase of 26.9%. Meanwhile, 2.666 million visitors travelled under the Individual Visit Scheme, ascended by 12.4%. The entertainment services grew rapidly, with the gross revenue of gaming sector rose by 66.7% to MOP86.47 billion, and the gaming tax increased by 62.9% to MOP31.9 billion. Furthermore, the development of convention and exhibition was stable. There were 787 meetings and 22 exhibitions held in the first six months, with 75 thousands and 150 thousands people participated respectively.
The performance of the construction industry remained weak. Gross floor area of newly started buildings went down by 37.8% to 130 thousand square meters. The property sales market quickly recovered. During the first half of 2010, the number of building units transacted amounted to 8,879, which was 4,741 more when compared to the number in the same period of 2009; total transaction value rose by 144.5% to MOP11.42 billion. In the banking industry, the operating profits slightly dropped by 5.9% to MOP1.74 billion. Total deposits amounted to MOP 303.03 billion and total loans amounted to MOP223.64 billion, which ascended by 7.0% and 44.2% respectively.
Since the implementation of The Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) in 2004, 1,210 items (Mainland 2010 Tariff Codes) classified as made-in-Macao products have been approved to be eligible to enjoy zero import tariffs in the Mainland. By June 30th, 2010, goods exported to the Mainland under CEPA privileges amounted to MOP 137 million, and about MOP10.586 million tariffs were exempted. In respect of trade in services, 387 Certificates of Macao Service Supplier have been issued. According to the Supplement VII to CEPA signed on May 28th, 2010, from January 1st, 2011, the Mainland committed to newly relax market access for Macao Service Suppliers in Specialty Design services and Technical Testing, Analysis and Product Testing services, and further liberalize and lower the entry threshold in the following services, namely Construction, Medical and Dental, Audiovisual, Distribution, Banking, Social, Tourism, Cultural and Recreational, Air Transport, Qualification Examinations for Professionals and Technicians, as well as Individually Owned Stores. Therefore, 43 service sectors have been released. In fact, CEPA is an open agreement, in which its contents will be continuously broadened through consultations, so as to facilitate economic and trade development as well as cooperation between the two places.