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Report says tourism and jobs will grow in Hawaii

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:49 p.m. HST, Feb 18, 2011


Hawaii's economy will grow slightly faster this year than previously thought, helped by a strong rebound in visitor spending and a better-than-expected recovery in the job market, according to a government report released today.

Overall state domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity in Hawaii, is forecast to grow by 2 percent this year, according to a quarterly report released by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. That's up from the 1.8 percent increase predicted in November.

The biggest upward revision among the various economic indicators in the report was visitor spending, which DBEDT now forecasts will grow by 9.2 percent to $12.66 billion in 2011. DBEDT had previously forecast  an 8.4 percent increase.

The job market also is improving, with the growth in payroll jobs revised to up 1.3 percent this year from the 1.1 percent rise previously forecast.

"We are encouraged by the continued improvement in our economy, especially with respect to our construction industry," said DBEDT Director Richard Lim.

"We note that the construction industry has started to add more jobs since October 2010 and that the value of commercial and industrial building permits in 2010 increased 32.5 percent," said.

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