Hawaii’s economy is expected to show stable growth this year and beyond as increased airlift from the mainland helps drive the state’s visitor industry.
The state said Friday in its quarterly forecast that a stronger U.S. economy and improving labor market will provide the catalyst for the growth.
“We are happy to see that our labor market has fully recovered from the 2009 recession, and in 2014 we had an historical high level of civilian labor force, civilian employment and payroll job count,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. “Our unemployment rate was the sixth lowest in the nation. 2014 was a record year for visitor arrivals as well. With the strong growth in the U.S. economy, we expect our visitor industry to continue to grow in 2015, especially in the U.S. markets.”
Hawaii’s inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, should rise 3.1 percent this year, according to DBEDT.
Visitor arrivals are expected to grow 2.1 percent this year because total air seats to the islands are projected to increase 5.8 percent, DBEDT said.