Asia and Pacific > Macao Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China

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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Macao SAR’s recovery is expected to continue in 2022, but it will take several years before the economy returns to its pre-crisis level. Although strong fiscal support and the financial strength of Macao SAR’s casino groups cushioned employment and consumption, the sharp contraction in activity exposed Macao SAR’s vulnerability to external forces affecting the inflow of tourists. Short-term risks to the outlook include a re-intensification of the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in Macao SAR’s financial sector stress. The heavy impact of the pandemic on Macao SAR’s growth highlights the need to diversify the economy beyond the gaming industry. The high exposure to climate-related shocks poses long-term concerns.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, and Review Department
This Supplement presents an account of the extensive consultations and the results of various analyses that supported the development of “A Strategy for IMF Engagement on Social Spending.”
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation highlights that while more moderate than in the past, gaming and tourism revenue in Macao Special Administrative Region picked up as the economy returned to expansion since mid-2016. Progress with diversification towards mass-gaming and nongaming tourism, together with the continued China gaming monopoly, are expected to deliver growth of around 4 percent in the medium term. Risks are tilted to the downside, mainly emanating from Mainland China. Prudent macroeconomic policies and high reserves provide strong buffers against shocks. In addition to supporting diversification, fulfilling social needs, and maintaining macroeconomic stability, the policies priorities explained in the report will reduce external imbalances. The report also discusses that the current housing macroprudential stance and related fiscal measures appear broadly appropriate. A broader set of policies are advised to support housing affordability, where continued efforts to boost housing supply will be key.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the real output for Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) is expected to contract for a third consecutive year in 2016. However, external demand has begun to recover with gaming revenues posting six consecutive months of positive annual growth. In 2017, a low base will help increase growth above 2 percent despite continued weak domestic demand. Further out, Macao SAR is well-positioned to record sustainable growth in the mid-single digits. In addition to its still highly valuable gaming monopoly within China, Macao SAR is an established tourist destination with significant geographic proximity to Mainland China. Macao SAR is now also investing aggressively in non-gaming tourism and financial services.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights China’s continued transition to sustainable growth, with progress on many fronts. Growth slowed to 6.9 percent in 2015 and is projected to moderate to 6.6 percent in 2016 owing to slower private investment and weak external demand. The economy is advancing on many dimensions of rebalancing, particularly switching from industry to services and from investment to consumption. But other aspects are lagging, such as strengthening state-owned enterprises and financial governance and containing rapid credit growth. The current account surplus is projected to decline to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2016 as imports increase and the services deficit widens with continued outbound tourism.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that China is transitioning to a new normal, with slower-yet-safer, more sustainable growth. Growth in 2014 fell to 7.4 percent and, in 2015, is forecast to slow further to 6.8 percent on the back of slower investment, especially in real estate. The labor market has remained resilient despite slower growth, as the economy pivots toward the more labor-intensive service sector. Considerable progress has been made in external rebalancing. The current account surplus fell to 2.1 percent in 2014 from the peak of about 10 percent in 2007, and the renminbi has appreciated by about 10 percent since 2014 in real effective terms. Further progress has also been made on domestic rebalancing.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
KEY ISSUES Context. After three decades of remarkable growth, the economy has been slowing. Much of the slowdown has been structural, reflecting the natural convergence process and waning dividends from past reforms; weak global growth has also contributed. Moreover, since the global financial crisis, growth has relied too much on investment and credit, which is not sustainable and has created rising vulnerabilities. Growth was 7.7 percent in 2013, and is expected to slow to around 7½ percent this year and decline further over the medium term. Focus. The pattern of growth since the global financial crisis is not sustainable and has resulted in rising vulnerabilities. The discussions focused on assessing the risks posed by the continued build-up of vulnerabilities; reforms to unleash new, sustainable engines of growth and reduce vulnerabilities; and how to best manage aggregate demand in this context, as growth is slowing yet risks are still rising. A key takeaway is that to secure a safer development path, accommodative policies need to be carefully unwound, accompanied by decisive implementation of the announced reform agenda to promote rebalancing. The result will be somewhat slower but safer growth in the near term, with the significant long-run benefit of securing more inclusive, environment-friendly, and sustainable growth. Risks. Credit and ‘shadow banking,’ local government finances, and the corporate sector— particularly real estate—are the key, and interlinked, areas of rising vulnerability. In the near term, the risk of a hard landing is still considered low as the government has the capacity to combat potential shocks. However, without a change in the pattern of growth, the hard-landing risk continues to rise and is assessed to be medium-likely over the medium term. Reform agenda. The authorities have announced a comprehensive and ambitious blueprint of reforms. Successful implementation should achieve the desired transformation of the economy, but will also be challenging. Demand management. Reining in credit growth, local government borrowing, and investment will address the risks, but also slow growth. Macro support should be calibrated to allow needed adjustments to take place, while preventing growth from slowing too much. Scenarios and spillovers. With faster adjustment and reform implementation, growth will be somewhat lower in the near term, with moderate spillovers for trading partners. However, in the medium term, income and consumption will both be higher—a result that is good for China and good for the global economy.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This staff report on People’s Republic of China 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights macroeconomic developments and outlook. China has maintained robust growth since the global crisis, but the heavy reliance on credit and investment to sustain activity is raising vulnerabilities. The consequence is a steady build-up of leverage that is eroding the strength of the financial sector, local government, and corporate balance sheets. This is most apparent in the continued rapid expansion in total social financing. The development of nontraditional finance marks a shift to more market-based intermediation, and the migration of activity to less-regulated parts of the system poses risks to financial stability.