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Products: Hawaii's Economy

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Hawai‘i Economic Forecast:
Strong Expansion to Continue

Believe it or not, 2003 marked the seventh straight year of economic expansion as measured by growth in state real (inflation-adjusted) personal income. All but one of these years saw real growth of two percent or better. While the labor market turned down after 9/11, state job counts have since rebounded strongly. Conditions look good for continued growth through the coming two years.

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The Contribution of the University of Hawai‘i to Hawai‘i’s Economy in 2003

The University of Hawai‘i had its beginnings in 1907 as a college of agriculture and mechanical arts and became the territoryís Land Grant College, a designation that remains today. With the establishment of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1920, the College of Hawai‘i became a University. Enrollment growth in the early years was slow, but the close of World War II and increased educational demand fueled by returning GIís increased the Universityís enrollment to over 5,000 students in the 1950s. Statehood and the establishment of the University of Hawaiëi as the ìstate university marked the beginning of a period of accelerating enrollment that resulted in the formation of a large diverse system. In 1965, the State Legislature created a statewide system of community colleges and placed it within the University of Hawaiëi. In 1970, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo was founded. In 1989, West O‘ahu College, an upper division institution opened in 1976, was renamed the University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu. The flagship Manoa campus became the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

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Construction Forecast:
Hawai‘i Construction on a Roll

Construction in Hawaii is on a roll. With 2003 the fourth consecutive year of growth, its all upside for the year 2004. After growing more than 13% during 2002, we expect construction spending growth to slow slightly to 7% in 2003 followed by a surge to over 17% the next year.

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Hawaii Economic Forecast:
Construction to Fuel Strong Growth

There’s just no stopping this economy. Little more than six months after the outbreak of the War in Iraq, economic growth in Hawaii continues unabated. While the tourism industry is not wholly recovered, it has shown surprising resilience. And, buoyed by strong construction and housing, the broader economy has moved to new recordhigh job counts and levels of personal income. With permitting activity high and major military housing projects soon to get under way, construction will continue to grow in the coming year. Combined with gains in tourism, this will support healthy expansion for the Hawaii economy.

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Hawaii Economic Forecast Update:
Hawaii Expansion to Continue Despite Japanese Weakness

Weak Japanese travel continues to be a challenge for the state’s number one industry. For the past threemonths, the Japanese visitormarket has struggled to climb back from the sharp drop that accompanied the war in Iraq and the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). At the same time, the mainland visitor market has been robust, and increases in lengths of stay have helped to generate modest increases in broad measures of visitor industry activity. Except for areas that are heavily dependent on Japanese tourism, this is shaping up to be a fairly good year for the visitor industry.

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Tax Incentives in Tourism: Hawaii’s Hotel Remodeling and Construction Tax Credits

Fiscal incentives are widely used by governments around the world to attract private investment in “preferred” industries, including tourism. Incentives are often granted to offset actual or perceived differences in the cost of doing business in different political jurisdictions whether the cost differences arise from tax differences or from differences in transportation, labor, or other costs. Incentives raise the return to capital thereby making investment in a location more attractive.

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Hawaii Economic Forecast:
Post-War Tourism Struggle Won't Derail Economy

For the second time in 18 months, Hawaii is faced with a dramatically worsened external environment. Even before the outbreak of war in Iraq, war jitters had begun to chip away at the steady recovery progress of island tourism. Since the onset of hostilities, Japanese travel in particular has fallen sharply. And even as news from the front began to raise hopes for a speedy stabilization, the mushrooming Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) threatens to suppress Japanese arrivals here for many months. The environment for tourism has turned from bad to worse.

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Hawaii Economic Forecast:
Recovery Continues Despite Tourism Woes

Hawaii’s economy is on the road to recovery, but there is still plenty of unfinished business. The strength in U.S. mainland visitors has helped the tourism sector avoid a disastrous year, but the Japanese side continues to fall short of pre-recession levels. Few of the tourism jobs lost after 9-11 have returned. While the broader economy fares better, with a partial recovery in the non-ag job count, we have yet to see net gains in employment. In fact, extraordinary strength in several domestic sectors, such as the housing market and some service areas, means that Hawaii has maintained real income growth throughout this two-year economic downturn.

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Hawai‘i Outlook: Road to Recovery

 

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Hawai'i Economic Forecast:
Brief Recession Likely Over

Hawaii's economy had begun to slow in the first half of last year, due primarily to the mainland recession that began in March. Still, the state was in relatively healthy condition. Tourism's pace had moderated, yet other sectors—such as construction, real estate, and other areas not linked directly to tourism—supported modest job growth and some of the best income numbers we had seen in years.

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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy Additional Forecast Graphs

 

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Hawaii Economic Forecast:
Moderate Recession Underway

The attacks of September 11 on the World Trade Center and Pentagon will have far-reaching adverse effects on the US, World, and Hawaii economies. Hawaii will be more adversely affected than many other states because of our reliance on air transportation and tourism. At this point, there is still much that is not known, but we now have sufficient evidence to form preliminary estimates of the current and prospective impact on Hawaii’s economy. Hawaii's tourism industry has been thrown into a severe downturn. Effects on the broader economy will be less severe, partly because the Hawaii economy was performing relatively well before the attacks, and partly because expansionary monetary and fiscal policy in the U.S. will begin to provide stimulus in coming months.

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Hawaii Economic Forecast:
Too Early for Forecasts

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Org. provides regular semi-annual forecasts of the Hawaii economy. Our fall forecast was finished and being readied for release on September 10. And then came the unthinkable horror of September 11. Aside from their incalculable personal toll, the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon are likely to have far-reaching adverse impacts on the US, World, and Hawaii economies. As a result, over the past two weeks we have seen an unprecedented demand for economic information on Hawaii's prospects.

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Economic Outlook 2001

 

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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy

The Hawaii economy entered 2001 in its best shape in more than a decade. While the external environment has deteriorated in recent months, continued strength in local economic activity will support growth for Hawaii's economy in 2001. Both west and eastbound visitor growth will slow from last years pace, yet total arrivals will set a new record year in 2001 growing by almost 2% over 2000 levels. Construction will continue to lead the economic expansion increasing by nearly 10% in real terms. Payroll jobs and real personal income growth will slow slightly from their pace in 2000, turning in 2.6% and 2.5% growth in 2001.

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