HONOLULU - The state's Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism released its fourth quarter 2017 Statistical and Economic Report which shows the Hawaii economy should remain stable into the next few years.  Economic growth is expected to be around 1.5 percent.

The state says the tourism industry is performing better than expected in the first 10 months of 2017 with an increase of 4.9 percent in visitor arrivals.  Visitor spending increased by 7.1 percent over the first nine months of the year.

“We are happy to learn that scheduled air seats, the supply side of the tourism industry, will increase by 8.5 percent during the first three quarters of 2018,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria.  “Based on the current trend, there is the potential that we may be welcoming more than 9.5 million visitors in 2018.”

“It is a positive sign that direct flights to the neighbor islands during the next three quarters is expected to increase by more than 20 percent,” explained State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian.  “That will help to ease the inter-island flight shortage due to Island Air ceasing operations on November 10.”

The labor market condition in Hawaii has been one of the best in the nation in the last few years.  In October 2017, unemployment rate registered a record low rate of 2.2 percent, seasonally adjusted rate, and was the lowest rate in the nation for October.  Year-to-date, Hawaii’s unemployment rate ranked the third lowest in terms of seasonally adjusted rate and ranked the lowest in terms of not seasonally adjusted rate.

The state also says the labor market condition in Hawaii has been one of the best in the nation in the last few years.  In October 2017, unemployment rate registered a record low rate of 2.2 percent, seasonally adjusted rate, and was the lowest rate in the nation for October.  Year-to-date, Hawaii's unemployment rate ranked the third lowest in terms of seasonally adjusted rate and ranked the lowest in terms of not seasonally adjusted rate.

The most recent economic forecast for the U.S. and the world indicates that most of the economies of the world, especially those our visitors are coming from, will experience continued economic growth in 2017 and 2018.  The U.S. economy is expected to grow by 2.2 percent in 2017 and 2.5 percent in 2018, both are higher than the growth rate of 2016.