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Country Report Macau

On April 21st Macau's Statistics and Census Service published data showing that consumer prices were up by 3.3% year on year in March, a slower rate of inflation than the 3.9% rise reported for February.

A 0.4% month-on-month fall in prices in March partly reflects seasonal factors, as some prices in February were boosted by the Chinese New Year holiday. Prices for alcoholic drinks and tobacco rose by 37.4% year on year, reflecting an increase in tobacco duties, and higher tuition fees pushed education costs up by 9%. Neither of these factors reversed the deceleration of consumer price inflation recorded over the past year, as slower economic growth in China and the continued weakness of Macau's tourism industry held down overall price increases.

The separately released tourist price index showed that such prices were down by 6.7% year on year in the first quarter of 2016. The key negative factor was lower and more price-sensitive visitor arrivals, which fed through into a 23.8% fall in accommodation prices in the first quarter. Such a hefty decline indicates that the tourism sector, even in terms of non-gambling revenue, is yet to establish a recovering trend after two years of falling visitor arrivals and spending.
Country Report Macau

Tourism sector weighs on prices
Impact on the forecast
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