Information from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) indicated that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2018 grew by 6.0% year-on-year in real terms attributable to the steady growth in exports of services and private consumption; the economic growth in the second quarter was lower than the 9.2% rise in the previous quarter due to a smaller increase in exports of services and a notable decline in investment. External demand maintained growth, which pushed up total exports of services by 13.0% year-on-year, with exports of gaming services and other tourism services rising by 13.7% and 13.0% respectively; meanwhile, exports of goods went up by 30.0%. Domestic demand eased slightly owing to an 11.9% decrease in investment; private consumption expenditure and government final consumption expenditure rose by 5.3% and 5.1% respectively year-on-year; imports of goods increased by 10.0%. The implicit deflator of GDP, which measures the overall changes in prices, went up by 3.5% year-on-year.
Private consumption expenditure showed solid growth. Total employment and employment earnings increased amid satisfactory employment situation, driving private consumption expenditure up by 5.3% year-on-year, higher than the 4.8% rise in the previous quarter. Household final consumption expenditure in the domestic market and abroad increased by 4.9% and 3.3% respectively.
Government final consumption expenditure registered increase, up by 5.1% year-on-year, higher than the 2.2% growth in the previous quarter; compensation of employees and net purchases of goods and services went up by 3.3% and 8.8% respectively.
Private investment decreased, leading to a larger drop in gross fixed asset investment. Gross fixed asset investment contracted by 11.9% year-on-year, a much greater decline compared to the 1.9% drop in the previous quarter. Private investment in fixed assets fell markedly by 18.9% year-on-year following the successive completion of large-scale tourism and entertainment facilities and residential buildings; private construction investment dropped by 22.0% whereas equipment investment rose by 7.4%. As regards investment by the public sector, government investment in fixed assets went up by 28.9% year-on-year with the huge investment in infrastructure; public construction and equipment investments grew substantially by 21.8% and 154.7% respectively.
Merchandise trade continued to increase. Total demand maintained growth, with exports and imports of goods rising by 30.0% and 10.0% respectively year-on-year, higher than the respective growth of 12.8% and 7.0% in the previous quarter.
Exports of services remained the major driving force for economic growth despite a smaller rate of increase. The growth in total exports of services slowed from 16.0% in the first quarter to 13.0%, with exports of gaming services and other tourism services rising by 13.7% and 13.0% respectively. Meanwhile, imports of services increased by 19.3% year-on-year, much lower than the 34.2% rise in the previous quarter.
For the first half of 2018, the economy of Macao grew by 7.6% year-on-year in real terms. In terms of the major expenditure components of GDP, private consumption expenditure and government final consumption expenditure rose by 5.1% and 3.7% respectively year-on-year, whereas investment dropped by 7.1%. Exports and imports of goods increased by 20.3% and 8.5% respectively. Meanwhile, exports of services went up by 14.5%, with exports of gaming services and other tourism services rising by 15.1% and 16.3% respectively; imports of services rose by 26.5%.