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Economist: Hawaii recovery on a ‘plodding path’

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A Hawaii economist is telling state lawmakers he expects the state’s economic recovery to continue on a “plodding path,” with federal deficit reduction dragging down growth.

Paul Brewbaker of TZ Economics said in written testimony today for a joint committee briefing at the Hawaii Capitol that the state needs to revive investment and rethink how it delivers public service.

Brewbaker’s comments come as lawmakers consider a two-year budget given mixed challenges. The Council on Revenues says general fund tax revenues will grow more than previously expected in fiscal 2013. But it’s not clear how federal spending might be reduced in Hawaii given decisions about cuts in Congress and the death of longtime U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Brewbaker says public investment in Hawaii has been shrinking for a half-century.

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