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SBA district office moves to new site

The Hawaii District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration is moving to a new facility at 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 1-306, in Honolulu.

The federal agency’s local office will be closed today and will reopen at the new location on Monday. Services will be limited during that time.

The relocation from the PJKK Federal Building in Honolulu is necessary to facilitate the renovation of that structure at 300 Ala Moana Blvd.


Japan’s growth surpasses estimates

TOKYO » Japan’s economy, the world’s second biggest, expanded at a faster pace than originally estimated in the first quarter as consumers spent more amid signs of a broadening recovery.

Gross domestic product expanded at an annualized pace of 5 percent in the January-March quarter, revised up from 4.9 percent in a preliminary report last month, the government said yesterday.

The upward change surprised economists—who had forecast a downward revision—and underscores that recovery in Japan’s economy has been gaining momentum.

Underpinning its growth are exports of cars, consumer electronics and other goods to a surging Asia and China, which is poised to overtake Japan’s economy in size sometime this year. The robust overseas demand is leading to higher production, investment and profits at Japanese companies.


Recovery on track, Bernanke says

WASHINGTON » The European debt crisis is likely to have only a "modest" impact on the U.S. economic recovery as long as Wall Street stabilizes, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress yesterday.

Testifying before the House Budget Committee, Bernanke struck a more confident tone that the recovery will remain intact despite problems in Europe as well as stubbornly high unemployment and a fragile housing market here at home.

However, the pace of the expansion—3.5 percent this year by the Fed’s estimate—won’t be strong enough to quickly bring relief to the 15 million Americans who are unemployed. The unemployment rate, now at 9.7 percent, would likely see only a "slow reduction," Bernanke warned.


Wholesale inventories and sales rise

WASHINGTON » Inventories held by wholesalers rose for a fourth straight month in April while sales rose for a 13th consecutive time. Both gains were encouraging signs for a sustained economic recovery.

Wholesale inventories increased 0.4 percent last month after a 0.7 percent gain in March, the Commerce Department said yesterday. Sales increased 0.7 percent in April, helped by higher demand for autos, lumber, computers and electrical equipment. The rise followed a 2.4 percent surge in March. The hope is that a steady rise in demand will prompt businesses to step up orders and restock depleted shelves. That would give a boost to factories and prompt them to increase hiring.


Fed survey sees recovery spreading

WASHINGTON » For the first time since the beginning of the recession, economic growth—modest and fragile, but growth nonetheless—has spread to every corner of the country. A survey released yesterday found economic activity was improving across all 12 regions of the nation tracked by the Federal Reserve. It was the first clean sweep in the report since 2007.


On the move

Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk has appointed Susan Kaui Koehler as director of sales and marketing. She held various management positions at Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel and Resort in Oxnard, Calif., for 18 years.

Hawaiian Airlines has appointed James E. Davis to vice president of customer service. His experience includes serving in a variety of management positions involving operations, customer service and maintenance for Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines.

Hawaiian Properties has hired John Jepsen Jr. as senior property manager and vice president of the condominium division. He was previously at Certified Management as a senior vice president.

AdWalls has hired Nick Riopelle as a lead sales representative. He was previously an account advertising executive at the Honolulu Advertiser.

The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties 2010 Renovation Award went to Peter Vincent Architects for completing Ko’a Kea Hotel and Resort at Po’ipu Beach. The resort had to undergo a complete renovation after suffering effects of Hurricane Iniki.


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