© 2023 Hawaiʻi Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Hawaiʻi's economic growth could surpass the national average, DBEDT says

Brave Heart/Creative Commons/Flickr

In their latest report, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism predicted Hawaiʻi to have a better economic outcome than the national average.

However, they say there's still room for improvement.

DBEDT's 2023 Statistical and Economic Report for the year's first quarter was released last Thursday, drawing attention to some of the state's inflation and tourism achievements.

In January, the Hawaiʻi inflation rate was reported to be at 5.2%, while the national average was 6.4%.

"As our economy continues to improve, especially in tourism and construction, it is expected that the impact from the economic slowdown in the nation will be offset by the increase in international tourism," said Chris J. Sadayasu, DBEDT's director, in a statement.

Hawaii visitor data DBEDT.png
Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority and DBEDT
The graph shows the monthly visitor arrivals from 2019 to 2023. The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism released its first quarter 2023 Statistical and Economic Report last Thursday, showing how the state is in recovery from the sharp decline in visitor rates caused by the pandemic.

The state’s interest rates have also declined since May of last year. The Federal Reserve Bank raised interest rates by more than 4% to combat inflation last year, a move that made it harder for local residents to purchase homes.

The report showed that the number of homes sold in the state decreased by almost 19% from 2022 to 2021. About 21,000 homes were sold in 2021, with about a quarter of them purchased by out-of-state residents.

The COVID pandemic's impacts on tourism largely affected the state's overall income, but DBEDT stated that the state’s gross domestic product has recovered by almost 95% of what 2019’s economy was.

The state unemployment rate is better than the national average, said DBEDT in a press release Thursday. The rate is projected to be 3.2% in 2023 and lower to 2.6% by 2026.

To read the full report, click here.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
Related Stories