The Macau Economic Association (MEA) believes Macau’s economy will recover within the next three months while the economic sentiment index will break out of the doldrums and return to “stable” in the second or third quarter.
On Monday, the MEA released its forecast for the “Macau Economic Sentiment Index”, stating that the reopening of Macau and the completion of the re-tendering process for new 10-year concessions will speed up the recovery of the Macau economy.
It also predicted that Macau’s economic outlook will move out of the “sluggish” category and into the “underperforming” category in the next three months.
On 8 January, Macau reopened its border to foreign visitors by removing all mandatory quarantine requirements, while arrivals from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan no longer require any COVID-19 testing to enter. This saw the city’s health code system also removed.
In addition, the Macau government completed bidding for new concessions in December, with all six incumbents winning new concessions starting from 1 January 2023.
“The relaxation of Macau’s anti-pandemic policy and the completion of the gambling license bid have accelerated the recovery of Macau’s economy,” the MEA said.
“Gaming companies will vigorously develop non-gaming elements and integrated tourism projects, and they will actively attract more domestic and international visitors to Macau, further contributing to the rapid recovery of the local economy.”
While international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are not optimistic about the global economic outlook for this year and next, the MEA said the global economic downturn may not affect Macau.
“Macau’s economy is mainly based on tourism and entertainment exports, and as long as tourists come to Macau, the economy will recover,” it continued.
“Although Macau may not be able to recover to its pre-pandemic level in the short term, the increase in visitors will boost residents’ confidence in consumption and the business sector’s confidence in investment. It is expected that the economy will return to a stable level in the second or third quarter of this year.”