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Hawaiʻi will have better economic growth this year than previously expected

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A new report says the state’s economy is projected to be better than previously expected this year.

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism is projecting the state will end the year with an economic growth of 3.9% per quarter. That’s higher than the previous projection of 2.7%.

The latest forecast is based on revised estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, a record breaking quarter for general excise tax collections, and the expectation of nearly $2 billion in federal funds.

According to DBEDT, the state collected nearly $1 billion in general excise tax revenue in the third quarter.

The department says that growth was hindered due to the Delta variant surge and subsequent restrictions.

However, the local job market is still relatively slow to recover.

While state unemployment has decreased over the year, it remains second highest in the country when not seasonally adjusted — 7th highest in the country when adjusted.

Meanwhile, the department says the state may experience job shortages in the coming months — based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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