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landscape of Honolulu harbor

The newest University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization (UHERO) report focuses on the impact of the global economy on the state.

Improving global conditions provide a favorable environment for continued expansion in the islands. Visitor arrivals are surging to record highs, and unemployment is reaching new lows. While families are benefitting from the improved employment prospects, many have yet to see significant income growth. The expansion is now well into its eighth year, and all indications are that growth will continue, if at a more subdued pace.

  • Global economic conditions have improved this year, beating expectations for the first time since 2010.
  • Economic growth prospects for North America, Japan, Australia, China and other Asian countries.
  • In Hawaiʻi, additions to airline and room capacity—including in non-traditional accommodations—have facilitated a sustained surge in the number of visitors, but spending continues to lag, even as visitor numbers stress infrastructure.
  • The construction cycle peaked in mid 2016, but the volume of activity has remained nearly as strong since then.
  • The pace of job creation has slowed as the construction cycle has plateaued and activity in other sectors has converged to a moderate trend growth path.
  • Aggregate real income inched up less than a half-percent in the first half of the year, in part reflecting the end of rapid construction expansion.
  • The future path for national policy represents both upside potential and downside risk.

For the full public summary go to the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization website and for a detailed analysis, subscribe to UHERO’s Forecast Project.

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