Macau saw its gross domestic product (GDP) increase marginally year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018.
With the support of “steady growth in exports of services and private consumption” the GDP of the semi-autonomous state increased by six per cent.
For GDP purposes, the gaming industry is considered an export in Macau since most patrons of the gaming services are foreign tourists.
Figures from the Macau Statistic and Census Service shows the city’s GDP rose by 7.6% in the first half of 2018 compared to last year.
The first quarter was much higher as the GDP increased by 9.2%, with the reduction of the second quarter attributed to “a smaller increase in exports of services and a notable decline in investment.”
The gaming services and other exports increased by 13.7% in the three months ending on June 30, compared to last year. In addition, exports of non-gaming tourism services increased by 13% within the same period.
In total, all the export services regarded as the “major driving force” of Macau’s economic growth rose 13% year-on-year in the second quarter.
This resulted from an increase in visitors and the high spending by tourists during the period. The quarter also saw a 30% rise in the export of food.
Gambling has become a very important aspect of Macau’s economy as its GDP is closely tied to the gross gaming revenue of the casinos.
In April this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Macau’s GDP would grow by 7% this year and 6.1% in 2019. Earlier this month, they also predicted Macau could overtake Qatar to become the world’s richest hub as the city’s GDP per capita could quadruple in the next two years to $143,116.
The per capital could growth could further to $172,681 by 2023 if the trend continues. However, Qatar’s GDP per capita is expected to reach $139,151 by 2020.