POSTED: 12:21 p.m. HST, Nov 17, 2011
Hawaii’s economy is expected to limp along with slow growth through 2012, economist Leroy Laney said today.
Laney, in an address to the First Hawaiian Bank’s 42nd Annual Business Outlook forum, said his outlook for the local economy is “somewhat more downbeat” than he envisioned just a few months ago due to the debt crisis in Europe and a debate in Washington about the United States’ own debt problems.
“Even under the best circumstances the recovery will continue to be much slower than usual,” Laney told several hundred members of the local business community gathered for the event at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall.
Laney, professor of economics and finance at Hawaii Pacific University, said he disagreed with a minority of economists that the U.S. could slip in to recession again. “Nonetheless, practically all forecasters -- local national and global -- have been revising down their forecasts recently,” he said.
Laney is forecasting the number of payroll jobs to grow by 1.3 percent this year and 1.2 percent in 2012. That would be enough to push the unemployment rate down from 6.2 percent in 2011 to 5.5 percent in 2012.
Laney is looking for visitor arrivals to grow by 3 percent this year and 2.6 percent next year. He is forecasting personal income, adjusted for inflation, to grow by 1 percent this year and 0.9 percent next year.