MACAU — The Chinese government’s crackdown on luxury spending has slowed retail sales in Hong Kong, but it’s a different picture in neighboring Macau, where the cash registers — particularly at watch and jewelry stores — are still getting a workout.
While China’s economic slowdown and austerity measures have taken a toll on traveling and sales throughout much of Asia-Pacific, Macau is booming with lots of new construction, including both Versailles- and Louis XIII-inspired hotel and casino projects. According to Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, monthly gross gaming revenues in March increased 13 percent year-on-year to 35.5 billion patacas, or $4.4 billion, after a 40 percent jump in February. Visitors to Macau in February rose 8 percent year-on-year, while the number of visitors from Mainland China increased 14 percent.
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