HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In economic news, there’s a grim prediction from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
They’re projecting that Hawaii’s economic growth will drop by 12.1 percent this year as a result of the pandemic and its lasting effects.
Assuming the visitor industry starts opening in September, economists predict it will still take six years for visitor arrivals to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels.
The forecast also assumes no cruise visitors will arrive in the islands until the second half of next year.
DBEDT predicts that this year’s annual unemployment rate will be at 8.6 percent, and go down to 6.2 percent in 2023. That’s still more than double the rate in 2017 and 2019.
Economists, however, are hopeful that Hawaii can bounce back, saying that the state is “well positioned to go beyond recovery and evolve into a more balanced and diversified economy.”