The newest University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization (UHERO) report focuses on the slowing economic growth for Hawaiʻi despite tourism numbers exceeding expectations.
The Hawaiʻi economy is decelerating. Job growth this year will come in at less than one percent, down from nearly two percent just two years ago, the consequence of a flattening construction path and the natural effects of tightening labor markets. Despite surprisingly persistent gains, even the robust tourism industry will move to a lower growth trend as capacity constraints exert themselves. Overall, growth in the number of jobs will downshift to about a half-percent per year by the end of the decade.
- The visitor industry had very strong spring and summer seasons, and for the first seven months of the year arrivals rose more than four percent compared with the same period in 2016.
- The Hawaiʻi labor market is now operating near levels that are typical for Hawaiʻi during periods of strong expansion.
- Inflation for the first half of 2017 came in at 2.5 percent, largely the result of a 4.2 percent surge in shelter costs, the fastest pace of housing cost appreciation since 2007.
- As expected, the pace of growth has eased, now that the long recovery from the 2008–2009 recession is complete.