Maui Business

Bank Economist Forecasts Bright Future for Maui

October 31, 2012, 11:01 AM HST
* Updated November 1, 6:51 AM
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Dr. Leroy Laney. File photo.

By Sonia Isotov

“Hawaii’s tourism industry continues its robust recovery and now, at last, there are other economic bright spots as well,” said economist Dr. Leroy Laney yesterday at the First Hawaiian Bank Business Outlook Forum at Blaisdell Concert Hall.

Laney also points out in the latest release of First Hawaiian Bank’s “Economic Forecast 2012-2013” that “Maui is doing considerably better economically than the other neighbor islands.” The Economic Forecast is a periodic publication detailing the bank’s economic forecast for all the Hawaii counties by Dr. Laney.

“[This comes] thanks to stronger job creation, a continued robust visitor industry and growing strength in construction,” continues Laney.

Laney’s Maui County forecast includes:

  • Jobs & Construction: The level of jobs is now only 6% below the 2007 peak, due in large part to a sharp uptick in construction job growth, mostly in commercial construction, not residential, and a “striking 350% increase in private construction permits on Maui for the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same quarter of 2011.
  • Tourism: “In every measured category — arrivals, visitor days, length of stay, total spending, person per day and person per trip spending — Maui continues to be up from 2011.”
  • Real Estate: “Maui real estate sales have picked up as falling prices and lower mortgage rates increase affordability. Inventories have declined almost 20% over the past year for both single-family and condo units.”
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Dr. Leroy Laney is the economic adviser to First Hawaiian Bank and professor of economics and finance at Hawaii Pacific University.

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   Hawaii Economic Forecast for 2013

2012

2013

(estimate)

(forecast)

Job Growth

+1.1%

+2.0%

Unemployment Rate

6.2%

5.7%

Inflation

+2.8%

+2.5%

Visitor Arrivals

+9.0%

+3.5%

Real Personal Income Growth

+1.5%

+2.0%

Real Gross Domestic Product

+1.5%

+2.3%

Figures source: First Hawaiian Bank

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