Council on Revenues revises forecast in light of lower fuel costs, stronger economy

Local News

There’s good news for Hawaii’s economy as the state Council on Revenues met Tuesday and updated its economic forecast.

At its last meeting in September 2014, the council projected a 3.5 percent increase in revenue. On Tuesday, it revised that forecast up a percentage point to 4.5 percent. That means the state is expected to have about $55 million more in its coffers.

The council also held steady its earlier forecast of 5.5-percent growth through the next six fiscal years.

“Some of the factors that went into our deliberations were the lower fuel costs, stronger U.S. economy, stronger U.S. dollar,” said council chair Kurt Kawafuchi.

“Right now, gas prices are down about a dollar a gallon in Hawaii and we think they’re going to continue to fall at least another quarter, maybe a little bit further,” said council member Carl Bonham,

“depends on what happens with oil prices and so that’s a net positive.”

The council also cited a strong tourism market as another bright spot in the state’s economy, but members did express caution about world economies like Japan and Europe, which have been lagging behind.

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