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Report: Delta wave may have turned a corner, but economic recovery will take longer

HNN FILE
HNN FILE(Hawaii News Now/file)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:03 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:18 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Delta surge stopped a promising Hawaii recovery in its tracks.

That’s the conclusion the UH Economic Research Organization makes in its latest report.

The UH economists say the state lost some momentum after a strong start to the summer. Visitor numbers went from 80% occupancy in early July to 45% as the Delta variant surged.

“While the Delta wave may now have turned the corner, we are in for a period of weakness before growth resumes late in the year,” the report said.

“The end to federal fiscal support will weigh on recovery going forward, and a full return to pre-pandemic conditions remains several years down the road.”

UHERO director Carl Bonham says the surge not only filled hospitals and triggered job losses.

It also created business uncertainty and supply chain issues that will have aftershocks in the market.

“When the Delta wave is gone and in a few months time when we’re kind of looking back at this, knock on wood, and saying ‘Gosh that was bad, but things are good right now,’ we’re still going to be dealing with the effects of supply chain disruptions and it could be a year and a half in some cases,” he said.

Fortunately, UHERO anticipates some relief for Hawaii’s economy next year with U.S. travel picking back up and the likely return of international visitors.

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