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UHERO Expects Strong Economy to Continue

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A new economic report from the University of Hawai‘i’s Economic Research Organization takes a county-by-county look at what is shaping up to be a strong 2018.. Pacific Business News editor in chief A. Kam Napier has more.

Hawaii’s counties are experiencing “robust economic conditions” according to an annual county-by-county report from the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Expect more of the same through 2018, especially as a result of increased tourism. The number of visitors to Hawaii has increased nearly 5 percent per year since the 2010, with the Neighbor Islands receiving the biggest gains.

Not only are more people coming, they’re staying longer. As a result, the average daily census of visitors is at levels 17 to 25 percent higher than in the mid-2000s. The report notes that this boom is not without cost, as the increased numbers are straining the communities and infrastructure of Neighbor Island counties in particular. The report addresses flooding on Kauai and eruptions on the Big Island, noting that available data so far don’t show significant impacts on the visitor industry.

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Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki

UHERO predicts that the federal tax cut with support more domestic travel to the Islands, and that a weakening dollar will stimulate international travel.

Construction has heated up on Oahu, but cooled on the Neighbor Islands — but otherwise, unemployment remains low at 2 percent. So low that people might start seeing bumps in their paychecks as competition for workers puts pressure on wages.

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