Hawaii predicts faster economic growth

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii is predicting faster economic growth this year and next.

The state's business and economic development department said in a report Wednesday Hawaii's economy should expand 2.2% this year. That's 0.4%age point greater than the department predicted last quarter.

Next year, it forecasts Hawaii's economy will grow 2.3% - 0.3%age point higher than its last prediction.

The report says 6.5% more tourists are expected to travel to the islands this year than last year - 2.1%age points more than previously believed.

Visitors are also expected to spend more while they're here.

Department Director Richard Lim says officials are confident the state's economy "is moving toward a more normal growth curve."

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