Maui Business

Business Banking Report Claims Economy Getting Stronger

April 15, 2013, 7:09 AM HST
* Updated April 15, 10:08 AM
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First Hawaiian Bank, Kihei branch. Photo by Sonia Isotov

First Hawaiian Bank, Kihei branch. Photo by Sonia Isotov.

By Sonia Isotov

The most recent First Hawaiian Bank Business Activity Report (BAR) shows a 10.81% increase in first quarter “same store sales” over one year ago for the same quarter, making it the strongest first quarter in the past four years, according to a recent announcement by Keith Nagata, senior vice president and business services manager.

It was the second time since the report’s inception that all 16 sectors in the report posted positive gains. The BAR tracks sales activity in 16 different economic sectors including automobile, retail, hotels, home improvement, restaurants, shipping and travel, among other categories.

“We are seeing consistent positive growth each quarter with tourism leading the way once again posting solid double digit increases in the hotel sector,” said Nagata, in a press announcement.

“Total sales volume of nearly $800 million was a record high of any quarter to date with all 16 industries posting gains over the prior year. This is a good indication that our economy is getting stronger and consumer confidence is increasing.”

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The report indicates that the 10.81% increase is the highest first quarter increase in four years and is the 13th consecutive quarter of positive growth. Previous first quarter increases were: 10.38% in 2012, 10.17% in 2011, and 3.49% in 2010.

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The figures in the BAR report reflect credit and debit card transactions at the First Hawaiian Bank is reportedly the largest local processor of credit and debit card transactions in Hawaii. In 2012, the bank processed $4.3 billion worth of customer credit and debit card sales transactions. The bank provides merchant services to nearly 7,500 First Hawaiian Bank merchant locations throughout Hawaii, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, and on the US mainland.

The bank processes all major US credit cards as well as JCB, China Union Pay and BC Global Card.

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