Economic Wait & See - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

November 11, 2009

Economic Wait & See

At an annual economic forum held last week, the projection was made that 2010 would be a year of stabilization for the Hawaii economy. The good news, I guess, is that things won’t get worse. The bad news, for sure, is it doesn't’t look like things are going to get much better for awhile.

Even the slight increase expected in visitors in 2010 is going to be offset, according to prognosticators, by the lower spending habits of those who do decide the time is right to visit Hawaii. The question now becomes- are these forecasts correct, and if so, how many small and medium-sized local businesses can survive another year without seeing some strong upward ticks in their businesses? It’s one thing to see major institutions locally get by during these tough times- they have the deeper pockets of course.

But how many mom and pop establishments- restaurants, supply shops, small retailers, specialty shops- can handle a year or so of status quo after the precipitous drop in business over the past 18-months? The local unemployment rate is not predicted to drop next year, and with minimal growth expected in personal income, the so-called end of the recession is certainly a far cry from where we need to be, would like to be, and possibly have to be for too many local businesses. Think about it…

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