The Hawaii economy is expected to finish the year slightly stronger than previously projected with tourism and construction fueling the growth.
In its fourth-quarter forecast for 2016, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism forecast Hawaii’s economic growth, as measured by the inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, will grow 2.0 percent rather the 1.9 percent projected in August.
DBEDT also is now forecasting that visitor arrivals will rise 2.3 percent to a record 8.88 million this year and spending to increase 3.9 percent to a record 15.70 billion. Both numbers would represent a fifth consecutive year of records. DBEDT previously forecast increases of 1.9 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
“Tourism has been performing better than expected,” said Eugene Tian, chief economist for DBEDT. “Due to the appreciation of their currency, both Japanese and Canadian visitor daily spending have increased during the last few months. Year-to-date through September, visitor arrivals increased by 2.6 percent and visitor spending increased by 3.7 percent. Visitor arrivals is likely to be another record year in 2016.”
The report was released on Wednesday.