Tourism brightens state's economic forecast

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - The Council on Revenue's latest quarterly forecast shows the economy is continuing to recover, at a faster clip than anticipated in January.

The council on Wednesday upgraded its forecast for the current fiscal year to 12%, up from 11.5%.

While the forecast still doesn't bounce back to the 14.5% growth predicted six months ago, it's still a positive sign and gives the state some flexibility, particularly heading into the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The forecast reflects gains in tourism, as well as expected growth in the construction industry.

House Finance Chair Marcus Oshiro says the forecast won't affect his committee's version of the budget, but will give the Senate more breathing room when the budget bill crosses over March 14.

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