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Economic Currents

Keep up to date with the latest UHERO news.

UHERO Hawai'i Quarterly Forecast Update: Mainland Woes Pose Risks for Visitor Sector

Moderate economic expansion is expected to continue in Hawai'i for the remainder of the year, with further slowing into 2008 and 2009. The visitor industry will continue to be challenged by a weak American mainland economy. Despite recent financial market turmoil, Hawai'i's construction industry continues to settle toward a soft landing. Fallout from mainland housing and mortgage markets poses a risk, primarily to the visitor industry.

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UHERO Annual Hawai'i Construction Forecast: Despite Credit Concerns, Soft Landing Expected

Despite concerns related to recent financial market turmoil, Hawai'i's construction industry still appears to be poised for a soft landing. Growth in real contracting receipts will slow in 2007 and turn negative in 2008-09, with hotel renovation and industrial and commercial construction providing a stabilizing influence in the face of a steadily weakening residential sector. The construction job count is expected to peak in 2008 and decline only slightly in 2009. While real construction spending will turn downward, the nominal tax base will continue to rise as construction costs push up nominal values. While there are currently no signs of a significant and prolonged downturn in Hawai'i's construction sector, any further worsening in the availability or cost of credit will adversely impact this forecast.

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UHERO County Economic Forecast: County Economies Steadily Slowing

The overall outlook for Hawai‘i’s county economies is for continued slowing along a path that has been evident since at least the middle of 2005. The pace of slowing will vary, depending on relative stage in the construction cycle, health of each county’s tourism market, and other factors. By 2008, it is expected that each of the four counties will have slowed to a pace that is broadly consistent with sustainable trend growth.

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UHERO Hawai'i Quarterly Forecast Update: Another Year with No Visitor Growth

The poor start for tourism and a restrained external outlook means that the visitor industry can expect to see no annual growth this year, and perhaps a slight decline. Construction slowing continues, although a late surge in non-residential activity will help to moderate the cycle. Slowing in the broader economy will proceed in the face of still very tight local labor markets.

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UHERO Hawai'i Construction Forecast: Surge in Nonresidential Building Sustains Cycle

Hawai‘i’s construction cycle is near or past its peak,depending on which sector you look at. While the homebuilding peak occurred in 2005-06, the peak in nonresidential construction is likely in 2007 or 2008. The end of this cycle will be characterized by a slow decline in total real construction spending, but continued increase in the nominal tax base as construction costs rise between 4% and 5% each year. With home price appreciation over and affordability at recent lows, real residential construction will continue to recede gradually.

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