Hawaii New Now | Annalisa Burgos

Economists say the U.S. economy is headed for a mild recession.

And while Hawaii is in a good position, we will still feel it.

UH Economic Research Organization Executive Director Carl Bonham said Hawaii has the return of international visitors to look forward to along with strong federal spending and a robust construction sector.

All that means “Hawaii will not go into recession, but we will slow down pretty significantly,” he said.

He added, “If you’ve got a credit card balance that you’re not paying off, your interest rates are going up. And one of the best things you can do is pay that down. Those rates … they’re going to continue to rise.”

The Hawaii Chamber of Commerce said the outlook is all the more reason for lawmakers to pass tax relief and incentives for small businesses.

“Even though we’re seeing economic activity, many of our small businesses are still digging out of this deep hole those dug by the pandemic,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, chamber president and CEO.

“They’re still facing other challenges, too … like supply chain issues, inflation workforce shortages, the rising costs of supplies. And of course, the uncertainty of the global economic environments.”

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