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Macau retail sales almost halve in first quarter 2020

Macau

Retail sales in Macau have almost halved since the beginning of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year, on the back of restrictions relating to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

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Total retail sales value in first quarter in the city’s plummeted 45.1 per cent year-on-year to MOP11.24 billion (US$1.41 billion, Macau’s Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) revealed late last month.

The volume decline quarter-on-quarter was greater, dropping 45.8 per cent and retail volume year-on-year dropped 44.8 per cent.

Sales volume is the number of units sold within a reporting period.

By category, the sales value of watches and jewellery fell 57.5 per cent, department store sales dropped 56.4 per cent and sales of adults’ clothing declined 52.9 per cent year-on-year. However, the value of supermarket sales rose 14 per cent, said the DSEC.

Official data showed that total first-quarter spending by tourists in Macau, excluding gambling expenses, were also affected by the pandemic, registering a decline of 70.4 per cent year-on-year to MOP5.01 billion.

That was due to a 68.9 per cent dip in visitor arrivals – to just over 3.2 million – during the period, said the bureau.

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Looking forward, major retailers in the city were predicting a drop in sales in the current second quarter for 2020, with some 80 per cent of retailers surveyed by the bureau forecasting decreases. Only 6 per cent responded with an expectation of a sales increase in the quarter ending 30th June, and 52 per cent expected sluggish results.

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