Lousy economy lingers | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Lousy economy lingers

University of Hawaii economists have titled their latest quarterly economic forecast "Recovery Still Around the Corner."

"Things are looking up for the U.S. and global economies," but in Hawaii the prospect is for more tough times, the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization said today.

Since the last quarterly estimate, UHERO has brightened a bit on three fronts. The numbers remain negative, but not as negative as a few weeks ago.

The visitor industry is forecast to lag the reviving overall economy, and UHERO does not expect arrivals to reach 7 million again until 2012. Hotel-occupancy rates, now around 66 percent, are not expected to reach 70 percent through 2011.

Nonfarm jobs fell below 600,000 in the state in August, the lowest number since February 2005. "Job losses will end by early 2010," the report said, but job gains cannot be expected for some time after that.

"Recovery means a return to growth, not a return to business as usual," the report said.