State Economic Indicators Show Growth
By Sonia Isotov
In its second quarter 2012 economic report, the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) is projecting higher growth rates for most economic indicators in Hawai‘i, especially visitor-related indicators in 2012.
DBEDT expects a 2.2% economic growth in 2012 and a similar rate of growth in 2013.
“We remain optimistic and confident that our economy is moving toward a more normal growth curve” said Richard C. Lim, director of DBEDT, in a written statement.
“We project that visitor arrivals in 2012 will reach another peak of more than 7.7 million visitors for the year. We also see a 46.2% increase in building permit values during the first quarter that should translate to new strength in the construction industry.”
Following a higher than expected growth in visitor arrivals in the first quarter of 2012, DBEDT projects that overall visitor arrivals will increase by 6.5% for 2012, which is 2.1% higher than its previous forecast.
Similarly, total visitor spending is now projected to increase 9.0% in 2012, 2.6% above the previous forecast.
The consensus forecast by the top 50 economic forecasting agencies projects a 2.3% economic growth rate for the United States in 2012, slightly higher than the 2.2% growth rate projected in February.
At the same time, the US consumer inflation rate for 2012 was revised up from 2.1% in February 2012 to 2.4% for the projection completed in early April 2012. However, forecasts for Japanese real GDP growth in 2012 were unchanged at 1.8% in the April forecast.
For the local economy, DBEDT increased the forecasted growth rates of most of the economic indicators such as personal income, GDP, and consumer inflation compared with its forecast in February 2012.
The number of wage and salary jobs in Hawai‘i is expected to increase 1.5% in 2012, which is the same as the growth rate projected in the previous forecast. Wage and salary jobs increased 1.0% during last year. As with the national economy, job growth has lagged other economic indicators in Hawai‘i.
The DBEDT Quarterly Statistical and Economic Report contains more than 100 tables of the most recent quarterly data on Hawai‘i’s economy as well as narrative explanations of the trends in these data. The full report is available at: http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/economic/data_reports/qser.