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IMF raises Macao’s 2017 GDP growth forecast to 2.8 percent

Thu, 16th Feb 2017

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its forecast on Macao’s 2017 GDP growth rate for this year to 2.8 percent from its previous forecast of 0.2 percent, after concluding the 2016 Article IV Consultation with the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR), the Macau Monetary Authority (AMCM) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The financial regulator said in the statement that the global lender commended Macao’s “strong” financial system, and “remarkable” macroeconomic resilience.
The statement quoted the IMF as saying that Macao “is entering a transition to a more diversified economic model from a position of strength with large fiscal and external buffers.

“Macao is well-positioned to achieve relatively stable growth of low to mid-single digits in the medium term,” the fund said in its report which was released in the US on Tuesday.

The IMF report also pointed out that “on the external financial front”, Macao is a net foreign creditor. The fund estimates, according to the AMCM statement, that Macao’s net foreign assets were equivalent to about 280 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 2015.

According to a statement on the fund’s official website, “with [mainland] China now accounting for two thirds of [Macao's] tourists and balance of payments pressures raising the potential for depreciation, external competitiveness may be more of an issue”. The fund added that “in this regard, downward price flexibility, as displayed recently by the hotel sector, will likely be increasingly important”.

Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the fund holds bilateral macroeconomic discussions with members on a regular basis. An IMF staff team visits the member country or region, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with its officials the economic developments and policies.

According to the AMCM statement, the IMF team visited Macao on November 3-14 last year to conduct its consultation.

(Macau News / The Macau Post Daily)