Hawaii economists predict growth, note challenges for state - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii economists predict growth, note challenges for state

File image File image

By AUDREY McAVOY
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii economists are predicting steady economic growth this year, but are warning of challenges lying ahead.

Eugene Tian of the state tourism and economic development department says Hawaii's economy should expand by 2 to 2.5 percent in 2016.

He says the tourism industry is getting a boost from the introduction of more flights from cities like San Francisco and Seoul, South Korea.

But he says the construction industry's momentum is weakening, as evidenced by a building permit application slowdown.

Tian says visitor spending is on a long-term declining trend when inflation is taken into account. He says real visitor spending has decreased 0.7 percent a year on average from 1997 to 2014.

Economist Paul Brewbaker says shrinking visitor spending is Hawaii's single most important strategic economic development.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly