Revenues council forecast improving economy in Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Revenues council forecast improving economy in Hawaii

Paul Brewbaker Paul Brewbaker
Howard Dicus Howard Dicus

By Holly Juscen – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The momentum is shifting from negative to positive when it comes to the state general fund revenues. Now the Council of Revenues met on Thursday afternoon to give their forecast for the end of this fiscal year and for next year, and they say that the US has been in recovery since July and Hawaii is following suit.

"Actually it's more of the same pick-up we've seen all year, in the sense that it started out at minus 15% in the first fiscal quarter, then it was minus 10% in the second fiscal quarter. It's currently minus five% as you've observed, and we're expecting a number, somewhere between zero and minus five by the end of the fiscal year.

"Some of us have slightly higher forecasts than others, but it's basically an extension of what already happened as a result of the economy establishing a base, a bottom and begin to slowly recover from that bottom," said Paul Brewbaker, Council of Revenues Chair.

A look at the Hawaii revenue numbers show that there was a minus 9.5% decrease in state revenues in 2009. They expect that number to be right around minus 2.5% for 2010, and then they predict it will go into the positive for next fiscal year which would be plus 6%.

However, all of the numbers have a bit of wiggle room because of the state refund checks. They have deferred them until July 1st which means that they have more money in the pot right now, but starting July 1st they'll have to send out $275 million in state refund checks in a three week period, but they say Hawaii is improving.

They say that housing here on Oahu and tourism is getting better and they said unemployment is definitely not getting worse so it is a brighter future here as far as forecasting the state revenues here in Hawaii.

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