Macau is a big deal. Check out this chart comparing growth of VIP visitors in Macau to nominal Chinese GDP.
Photo: Morgan Stanley
That chart is from Morgan Stanley’s Praveen K Choudhary, who just got back from a trip to Macau, and has a few key observations:
- There is definitely nervousness about the economy.
- But mostly, volumes look good, and there are no signs of people gambling less.
- A mass slowdown is definitely not visible.
- Companies are concerned about wage increases.
- The latest opening of the Cotai Central (by Sands China) has been fairly weak.
- One reason growth is slowing is just that the base is getting really big (explains slowing China growth as well).
Overall, it seems, if you looking for the holy grail of the China slowdown story, you’re not going to find it by visiting Macau just yet.