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Construction expected to play larger role in Hawaii’s growth

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    The Piikoi Street ramp leading to the parking lot near the former Sears store is now barricaded because of the construction at Ala Moana Center.

Hawaii’s economy will continue to grow at a healthy clip over the next few years, but the sources of growth will shift, with the construction industry playing a larger role, University of Hawaii economist said today in an address to business leaders.

Visitor industry growth will slow from its “torrid pace” last year, but will still set records for arrivals and spending this year, Jack Suyderhoud said at the First Hawaiian Bank Business Outlook Forum held at the Neal Blaisdell Center Concert Hall.

“We forecast 2014 to be a continuation of what we have seen since 2010 — continued growth with strength in most sectors,” said Suyderhoud, economic adviser to First Hawaiian Bank and professor of business economics at the UH Shidler College of Business.

However, the areas of economic growth will change, he said.

“Tourism’s torrid pace will taper as the sector continues to grow, but at a more moderate pace,” he said. “Construction will pick up, adding jobs.”

Suyderhoud added that state and local government will contribute to growth, while federal spending will not.

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