Thursday, August 19, 2010

Just In: HI Economy Doing Better than Thought

It was breaking news Thursday at the Star-Advertiser’s website, but the positive economic news is becoming almost routine. We had occasion to note other positive stories in recent weeks – for example, on June 25 and August 11.

The latest story says the economy will grow at a faster rate this year than previously forecast. Visitor arrivals had been estimated to grow 2.6 percent over 2009, but the latest forecast by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism anticipates a 4.6-percent increase.

Visitor spending is expected to rise 8.2 percent to nearly $11 billion, a much more robust increase than the original 4.9-percent forecast.

It’s a gradual economic recovery, and the labor market is still lagging, but it’s improving better than the Department had forecast back in May.

This stream of good economic news is naturally also good news for Honolulu rail and would seem to counter the pessimism some are expressing about the project’s financial plan.

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