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Here's what a US recession might mean for Hawaiʻi

Catherine Cruz

One thing was especially clear in the recent third-quarter forecast of the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization — the United States overall is likely to be in a recession in 2023.

Global growth has slowed to 3% in 2022 and will slow down further in 2023 while high inflation is causing banks to raise interest rates.

What does this mean for Hawaiʻi? Slower growth, said UHERO Executive Director Carl Bonham, but not necessarily a local recession of our own.

Hawaiʻi could end this year on a small, but positive, note of 1% growth and may avoid overall net job losses due to the return of Japanese travel and strong public sector construction.

Job growth has been at 5% this year as tourism recovered from COVID-era restrictions. UHERO foresees more job growth in 2023, but at a slower pace of just under 2%.

Many factors will make 2023 a flat year, including continued inflation and stagnating wages.

UHERO is sticking with its prediction that Hawaiʻi will not see real economic growth until 2024.

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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