Study: Spending up as Hawaii economy improves

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Spending is up in most sectors of the Hawaii economy, according to a new report from the state's largest financial institution.

The newest First Hawaiian Bank Business Activity Report, covering the first quarter of 2011, says spending is up 10.2 percent from the same time last year, with improvements in 14 out of 16 sectors measured.

"Each month during the quarter showed an increase over the previous year," said First Hawaiian Senior Vice President Keith Nagata. "The early signs of the economic impact of the events in Japan do not appear to be as severe as first anticipated."

Basing its conclusions on spending that goes through its own system, First Hawaiian found 18 percent more spending on travel activities, 17 percent more spending in convenience stories, 17 percent more spending to ship goods, 15 percent more automotive spending and 15 percent more sales in hotels.

Home furnishings sales approached 10 percent more than last year's first quarter with restaurant sales up almost that much. Supermarket sales rose 7 percent and home improvement spending rose 4 percent. Sales for insurance and travel agency services fell.

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