According to a recent report from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), Hawaii’s economy is forecasted to grow faster than the rest of the U.S. throughout the year and into 2014. With all the economic confidence we’ve been seeing in the private sector in the past few years, this news comes at no surprise.
If you are interested in the specifics, our real gross domestic product is expected to increase by 2.4 percent this year, and by 2.3 percent next year. Believe it or not, that was the less optimistic forecast, compared to the one that came before, yet it still has us ahead of the rest of the nation. The unemployment rate is also expected to fall from the 5.8 percent in 2012 to 4.8 percent this year and end up down to 4.5 percent next year.
The forecast is likely to provide extra incentive for those interested in Maui real estate investments, whether purchasing a full time home, or buying a condo to use as a vacation rental. Between the state’s economic performance and the ever shrinking pool of foreclosure and bank-owned homes, real estate values are making a slow and steady climb.
According to DBEDT Director Richard C. Lim, the economy is strong overall, and progress has been in line with past estimates. He expects steady, positive economic growth. If their prior forecasts weren’t accurate, we wouldn’t put much stock in future forecasts, but that is not the case here, luckily.
As far as why this latest forecast was more conservative than the last one, projections for visitor spending were revised down by 1.5 percentage points to 5.6 percent. Also, visitor arrival growth was projected to be 1.1 percent lower than they had predicted earlier, for a total increase of 4.3 percent. This is no reason to fret, because the conservative projection still gives us a record 8.3 million visitors this year.
All in all, things are looking very good for Hawaii’s economy, and we are looking forward to how the future unfolds. Mahalo for reading this week!
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