State Forecasts Gradual Economic Recovery

November 18, 2009, 10:00 AM HST · Updated November 18, 1:51 PM
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The state issued an updated economic report that predicts gradual recovery for Hawaii.  The state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, says it expects the national recession and the sharp decreases in visitor expenditures to continue to affect Hawaii’s economy.  In its latest quarterly report released on Tuesday, the DBEDT forecasts a 3.3 percent decline in the average job count for the year and a decrease in visitor expenditures of 12.6 percent for 2009.

The forecast for the state’s 2009 real gross state domestic product growth remained negative 1.1 percent, same as the forecast last quarter.

DBEDT expects total visitor arrivals to decline 4.5 percent in 2009, less than the 5.9 percent decline in the previous (August 2009) forecast; however, visitor expenditures are expected to decrease 12.6 percent, a slightly larger decline than the 11.5 percent decline projected in the previous forecast. Total visitor days are now projected to decrease 4.6 percent in 2009, compared to the 5.8 percent decline projected in the previous forecast.

The state’s economy is expected to stabilize in 2010 with a modest, 2.0 percent growth in visitor arrivals and flat (0.0 percent) real personal income growth and small (0.8 percent) real GDP growth. The DBEDT says the net job count is likely to decrease slightly in 2010.

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Assuming continued improvement in national and international economic conditions, modest growth in the state’s economy is forecast to return by 2011.  At that time, the forecast calls for an increase in visitor arrivals by 4.1 percent, with visitor expenditures up 8.8 percent.  According to the state forecast, that gradual pace of recovery should continue in 2012, barring unforeseen events.

(Posted by Wendy Osher)

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