The green shoots of the recovery of the Macau retail sector are evident in fresh data from the government released this week.
The Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) found that 42 per cent of retailers interviewed reported a year-on-year growth in sales in December 2016, up by three percentage points from November.
All of the interviewed leather goods retailers and 50 per cent of the department stores recorded a year-on-year increase in sales, the same proportions as in the previous month. Moreover, 47 per cent of the watches, clocks and jewellery retailers and 44 per cent of supermarkets reported a year-on-year rise in sales, up by five and 22 percentage points respectively.
However the fashion sector did not fare as well: with the proportion of adults clothing retailers reporting increased sales down by 10 percentage points.
Retailers expected a slight improvement in their business in January 2017. The proportion of interviewed retailers that anticipated a year-on-year increase in sales in January rose by 2 percentage points to 25 per cent when compared to December. Leather Goods Retailers were more optimistic, with 80 per cent expected their sales to increase year-on-year; 40 per cent of the cosmetics and sanitary articles retailers, 38 per cent of adults clothing retailers and 38 per cent of department stores anticipated a year-on-year growth in sales.
The proportion of retailers anticipating a decline in sales decreased by three percentage points to 38 per cent, with the corresponding proportions of department stores and cosmetics and sanitary articles retailers dropping by 25 and 20 percentage points respectively.
The DSEC also found that 34 per cent of proprietors of restaurants interviewed reported a year-on-year growth in receipts in December 2016. That’s four per cent more than in November and the result of an increase in visitors to the territory.
Among them, 57 per cent of the Chinese Restaurants and 24 per cent of local style cafes, congee & noodle shops recorded a year-on-year increase in receipts, up by two and eight percentage points respectively from November.
Meanwhile, the proportion of interviewed restaurants that reported a year-on-year decline in receipts (44 per cent) dropped by six percentage points from November, with the corresponding proportions of Japanese and Korean restaurants and local style cafes, congee and noodle shops decreasing by 19 and 10 percentage points.
The interviewed restaurateurs were relatively optimistic about their business prospects in January 2017 when the Lunar New Year took place, with 30 per cent anticipating a year-on-year rise in receipts, up by 10 percentage points when compared to December.
The sample size of the DSEC survey was 167 restaurants and 135 retailers (accounting for 70 per cent of the retail sector’s sales).