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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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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy

Economic conditions in Hawaii have strengthened dramatically during the first half of 2000. All economic indicators are signaling a moderate to strong business cycle expansion. A healthy external environment and growing domestic strength will support growth for Hawaii's economy not seen since the late 80s. With continued strong westbound growth and weak eastbound growth, total visitor arrivals should grow by 5% this year. Construction will rise by nearly 15%. Payroll jobs are expected to rise, and real personal income will accelerate from the current 2.6% pace to 3.3% growth for the entire year. As predicted last April, inflation is back and is expected to accelerate in the second half of the year. By 2001 Honolulu is expected to have inflation matching the US rate.

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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy

Economic conditions in Hawaii have improved measurably over the past year, with virtually all economic indicators signaling a moderate business cycle expansion. A healthy external environment and growing domestic strength will support somewhat stronger growth for Hawaii's economy in 2000. With continued strong westbound growth and at least an end to the declines in eastbound growth, total visitor arrivals should grow by 4% this year. Construction will rise by 5%. Payroll jobs are expected to rise, and real personal income will accelerate from the current 2% pace to 2.6% growth in 2000.

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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy

Hawaii's economic picture began to improve in 1999. Driven by a strengthening external environment, the visitor industry started to recover from a very weak 1998, helping to sustain moderate income growth for the state as a whole. While labor markets remain weak, payroll job losses came to an end, and the unemployment rate edged downward. Even construction, which has suffered a severe slump in recent years, showed signs of life. This performance bodes well for the year 2000, with virtually all sectors of the Hawaii economy finally beginning to move in the right direction!

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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy

We predict a continuation of weak economic growth in 1999. While visitor arrivals will rebound somewhat, we expect overall arrivals to rise at most 1.9%. Again, any strengthening in arrivals will have to come from the US mainland, as the best we can expect from Asia is to stop the bleeding. One bright spot has been the recent strength in the Yen, so that at least the visitors who are here may spend a few more dollars. In any event, the economic turmoil in Asia, and its effect on the US economy only lead to cautious optimism for the tourism industry.

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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy

We predict a continuation of weak economic growth in 1999. While visitor arrivals will rebound somewhat, we expect overall arrivals to rise at most 1.0%. Again, any strengthening in arrivals will have to come from the US mainland, as the best we can expect from Asia is to stop the bleeding. One bright spot has been the recent strength in the Yen, so that at least the visitors who are here may spend more in dollars. In any event, the economic turmoil in Asia, and its effect on the US economy only lead to cautious optimism for the tourism industry.

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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy

We predict a continuation of this weakness into 1998. While visitor arrivals will continue to rebound somewhat from the weak performance of early 1997, we expect overall arrivals to rise just 2.0% above 1997 levels. Any strengthening in arrivals will have to come from the US mainland, as the strong dollar and turmoil in East Asia lead to no growth in the eastbound market.

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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy

The State's fragile economic recovery appears to have faltered in the second half of 1997. While first half inflation adjusted income growth was over 1%, our preliminary estimate of personal income growth has been reduced from an April 1997 forecast of 1.4% to just 1.0%.

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Outlook for the Hawai'i Economy

We predict a continuation of the modest recovery that began in 1994. While visitor arrivals will rebound somewhat from the very weak performance of the second half of 1996, we expect overall arrivals to fall short of the 1996 total. Broader measures of economic health will firm slightly. We predict greater than 1% increase in real personal income in both 1997 and 1998. 1996 should also be the last year of overall job losses, with small net additions of jobs beginning. Construction however will continue to be a moderate drag on the economy. Inflation is expected to remain very low by Hawai'i standards.

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