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State trims economic growth forecast for 2011

The state today lowered its estimate slightly for Hawaii’s economic growth this year based in part on weaker-than-expected visitor arrivals.

The quarterly forecast by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism calls for the state’s economy to grow by 1.3 percent this year, down from the 1.6 percent growth rate it forecast in May.

Although visitor arrivals from Japan have “fully recovered” from the March earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, arrivals from the mainland have been running below last year’s levels since June, DBEDT said. The department is now forecasting visitor arrivals to grow by 3 percent this year, down from the 3.8 percent increase predicted in May.

“Though we expect the economy will not be a robust during the second half of this year we still anticipate some job growth in our economy,” said Richard Lim, DBEDT director. He noted that general excise tax collections during the first half of this year were up 9.7 percent, a rate not seen in the previous five years.

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