Despite its booming tourism industry, the value of goods and services produced in Hawaii grew at just 1 percent in 2018, the BEA reported. That compared to a U.S. rate of 2.9 percent and placed Hawaii 41stamong the 50 states in terms of GDP growth.
Hawaii significantly lagged other western states, which were led by Washington, where the economy grew by 5.7 percent in 2018. Although Alaska fared worse than Hawaii for the year, the state’s economy began to boom in the last quarter as rising energy prices drove growth in the mining sector.
The report was consistent with a March forecast by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, which also predicted a slowing of Hawaii’s economy. Among other factors, UHERO pointed to softening visitor spending, even as the number of visitors to Hawaii remained strong.
Hawaii’s lackluster growth in 2018 marked a continuation of a downward growth trend since 2015, when the economy grew at 3.4 percent.
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