The Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism anticipates continued positive growth in the tourism sector in 2012 and ’13, but has downgraded its forecast for other major economic indicators.
Despite the downgrades, state economists still expect overall positive economic growth for the rest of this year and into 2013, according to the department’s Quarterly Statistical and Economic Report for the third quarter released on Thursday. The report also found that all of Hawaii’s major economic indicators — labor; income and prices; taxes; tourism; construction; and bankruptcy — remained positive in the second quarter.
A forecast for Hawaii County alone was unavailable Thursday, said Dave Young, the department’s spokesman, who referred inquiries to county officials, who were unable to provide information. The state doesn’t provide an economic outlook for the counties, he said.
Collette Rapoza-Yamamoto, with the Hawaii County Research and Development Division, said the county’s economic outlook would only be divulged Aug. 23 during First Hawaiian Bank’s 38th annual Hawaii County Business Outlook Forum in Waikoloa. She referred further inquiry on economic outlook to the county’s Finance Department, which also did not respond as of press time.
According to the report, all neighbor island counties during the second quarter, ending June 30, saw mostly positive economic conditions.
Hawaii Island’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.2 percent during the second quarter, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points from the second quarter of 2011. Only the City and County of Honolulu saw an increase in unemployment.
Hawaii County also recorded an increase in visitor arrivals and days spent on the island, according to the report. In the second quarter, the island saw visitor arrivals increase by 8 percent and the length of visitor stays go up by 6.6 percent, compared to the same quarter in 2011.
The island also gained 1,200 nonagricultural and salary jobs, an increase of 2 percent compared to the second quarter of 2011. Some 500 jobs were lost during the quarter in the professional and business services sector; arts, entertainment and recreation; and government sectors.
Statewide, during the second quarter, all of Hawaii’s major economic indicators were positive, with visitor-related indicators showing the most improvement, according to the report.
With that growth in the visitor sector, the state anticipates overall visitor arrivals will increase 8.6 percent for 2012, 2.1 percentage points higher than forecast in May. It also anticipates visitor spending will go up by 15.2 percent this year — 6.2 percentage points higher than previously forecast.
While the forecast for visitor-related indicators increased, the state downgraded its forecast for other major indicators:
The number of nonagricultural wage and salary jobs is expected to increase by just 1.2 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from the May forecast. The department projects job growth will be 1.8 percent in 2013.
The forecast for real gross domestic product for Hawaii is anticipated to be 1.5 percent, down 0.7 percentage points from the prior forecast. In 2013, the department expects to see GDP increase by 2.3 percent.
Personal income in current dollars is expected to increase 4.3 percent in 2012, a half-percentage point below the previous forecast. In 2013, growth is expected to be about 4.8 percent.
Other predictions in the report:
Beyond 2013, the economy will be on a normal path with job growth expected to increase 1.5 percent in 2014 and 1.3 percent in 2015.
Visitor arrivals are expected to increase 2.6 percent in 2014 and 2.5 percent in 2015. Visitor expenditures are expected to increase 5.2 percent in 2014 and 5.0 percent in 2015.
Real personal income is projected to increase 2.6 percent in 2014 and 2.4 percent in 2015. Hawaii’s real gross domestic product growth is expected to reach 2.4 percent in both 2014 and 2015.
To view the full report, visit hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/economic/data_reports/qser.