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Navigating Economic Realities: Insights from the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce

Hawaiʻi Economic Outlook Conference 2024

By Andrew Rosen

As we enter the new year, businesses across Hawaii are charting their courses for 2024. Budgets and strategies are being carefully crafted to align with the goals and aspirations of our local economy. However, in this rapidly evolving environment, it's essential to base our plans on the most up-to-date data and insights.

The Mayor's Office of Economic Revitalization (OER) has been diligently working to support Native Hawaiian commerce, and their Third Quarter 2023 report provides valuable insights into the state of our local economy:

  1. Construction Remains Strong: Building permits issued in the first seven months of 2023 saw a remarkable increase of 17.1% compared to the previous year. Furthermore, permit values for additions and alterations surged by 55.1%. However, it's worth noting that the value for commercial and industrial permits experienced a decrease of 21.2%.
  1. Hawaii Real GDP Dips: Hawai’i Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) faced a 3% decline in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2019.
  1. Labor Force Fluctuations: The labor force in Hawai’i slightly decreased in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2019, with unemployment averaging 2.9% through July 2023, slightly higher than the 2019 figure.
  1. Inflation Concerns: Honolulu's consumer inflation averaged 3.1% through July 2023, significantly surpassing the 1.8% rate in 2019. Personal income grew by 2.7% in 2023, but it failed to keep pace with inflation.
  1. Tourism Challenges: Tourism bookings for November 2023 to September 2024 are down from the previous year, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

Given these economic indicators, how can local businesses maximize opportunities and identify their potential in 2024?  With a softening economy, challenges like stagnant tourism, inflation, higher interest rates, and global uncertainties are factors that need careful consideration in our planning for success.

Knowledge is the cornerstone of preparation, and that's why the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce is proud to host the Hawai’i Economic 2024 Conference on Tuesday, January 16th, from 7:30 am to 9 am at the O'ahu County Club, where breakfast will be served.

Our conference will feature a panel discussion addressing the pressing issues that Hawaiian commerce may face in 2024.  Elected officials will provide their perspectives, and Native Hawaiian businesses will share their strategies for navigating the year ahead. 

Our panel will include four prominent State Legislators, two Native Hawaiian business owners, and industry insiders. We encourage members of NHCC and attendees to submit questions for our moderator, Kainoa Carlson, to pose to our expert panel.

We extend an invitation to all who are interested in Hawaii's economic outlook for 2024 to attend the conference.  To register, simply visit and select the "Events" tab.  For any inquiries or assistance, please feel free to contact Andrew at or call 808.208.5816.

As we step into the new year, let us equip ourselves with the knowledge and insights necessary to navigate the economic landscape successfully. Here's to a healthy and prosperous New Year filled with peace and opportunity for all.