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State projects continued modest economic growth

The state is projecting Hawaii’s economy to its continue its expansion this year but at a rate below its long-term average.

Solid visitor arrivals and spending will help underpin the economy, while job growth will remain sluggish, according to the quarterly forecast released today by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

The department is forecasting visitor arrivals and spending to increase in 2012 by 4.4 percent and 6.4 percent respectively. Those estimates are up from projected increases of 3.4 percent and 5.6 percent delivered by DBEDT three months ago.

Total wage and salary jobs, meanwhile, are forecast to rise by 1.5 percent this year and 1.7 percent in 2013. Those forecasts are down from increases of 1.6 percent and 1.8 percent DBEDT issued three months ago.

State gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity in the state, is forecast to rise by 1.8 percent in 2012 and 2 percent in 2013. Those are unchanged from the previous forecast.

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