Wednesday, January 3, 2001
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Posted at 12:50 p.m., January 3, 2001

Economists upbeat about Hawai'i economy

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Staff Writer

In keeping with recent positive economic reports, economists told the state House Finance and Senate Ways and Means Committee members today they are optimistic about the continued growth in Hawai'i's economy this year.

Bank of Hawaii chief economist Paul Brewbaker said neither construction nor tourism will decline this year, and that the growth in construction -- which he predicted to be in the double-digits -- will outpace that of tourism.

"The dominant factor in continued solid economic growth for Hawai'i in 2001 is the sheer momentum of construction activity that will carry through this year," he said.

Brewbaker said the unemployment rate this year will remain at or below the national average in the range of 3.5 or 4 percent.

"After all is said and done, 2001 will be a reasonably good year for Hawaii's economy, the best in a while," he said.

State chief economist Pearl Imada Iboshi said the forecast for Hawai'i's economy remains positive, but there is the possibility of slower growth later this year. She said, however, that does not mean Hawai'i is on the verge of a recession.

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