MSAR economy contracts 2.1 pct in 2016

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GDP for the fourth quarter of 2016 expanded by 7.0 per cent year-on-year in real terms, the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) revealed yesterday, saying the rising exports of services were responsible. The figures surpassed the 4.4 per cent growth of the previous quarter.
‘Total exports of services increased by 8.2 per cent year-on-year, underpinned by the continued expansion in tourism and gaming services,’ DSEC explained, adding ‘Exports of gaming services and other tourism services rose by 8.1 per cent and 8.4 per cent, respectively, while exports of goods weakened, declining further by 21.2 per cent.’
Domestic demand slipped slightly, as private consumption expenditure dropped 0.5 per cent. The government’s final consumption expenditure remained stable, while gross fixed capital formation rose marginally by 0.2 per cent. Imports of goods declined by 8.0 per cent, while the import of services increased 1.6 per cent.
‘Moreover, the implicit deflator of GDP that measures changes in prices increased by 1.0 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016,’ said DSEC. ‘Economic growth for the second and third quarters was revised upwards to -6.8 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively.’

Economy improving
For the whole year of 2016, the economy of Macao shrank by 2.1 per cent year-on-year in real terms, an apparent improvement from the 21.5 per cent drop in 2015. The economy contracted by 9.7 per cent in the first half of the year, followed by a rebound of 5.7 per cent in the second half.
‘The economic contraction in 2016 was mainly due to the weakening of total demand. Domestic demand slackened, diminishing by 5.8 per cent year-on-year; private consumption expenditure and gross fixed capital formation reduced by 1.3 per cent and 13.3 per cent, respectively, whereas government final consumption expenditure rose by 1.7 per cent,’ the authority added.
External demand recovered significantly in the second half of the year; total exports of services declined at a slower rate of 2.5 per cent amid continued growth in visitor arrivals and spending; exports of gaming services and exports of other tourism services shrank by 4.4 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively whereas exports of goods dropped by 21.8 per cent, DESEC found. ‘In 2016, GDP amounted to MOP358.2 billion and per-capita GDP was MOP554,619 (about US$69,372). The implicit deflator of GDP increased by 0.9 per cent year-on-year.’