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Hawai'i Economic Forecast:
Expansion Remains Solid

The Hawaii economy continues to grow strongly. A hot housing market and associated construction spending support expansion in jobs and income, despite a less-than-complete recovery the Japanese tourism market. Plans for military spending will provide support for the construction industry over the next several years. Together with an improving external environment, these factors promise continued strong growth.

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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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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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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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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy

The Hawaii economy is enjoying its most robust growth in a decade, and all indicators continue to point to moderate business cycle expansion. Barring a hard landing for the US economy (see Global Soft Landing Still Best Bet), Hawaii's economy will grow by 3.6% in 2001, its fastest pace since 1990. While the external environment is cooling off somewhat, local demand will take over as the main catalyst of growth. Total visitor arrivals should rise by almost 3.5% in 2001, following a 4% rise in 2000. With the continued stength in Hawaii real estate, and the need for renovation/conversion of the visitor plant, construction activity will continue its rebound, with real contracting growing by more than 11% in 2001. Payroll jobs are expected to grow by 2.6%, and real personal income will accelerate from the 3.3% pace in 2000 to 3.6% growth in 2001. In Y2K+1 the Hawaii economy will grow at its fastest pace in 11 years and will likely exceed the US rate to boot!

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