Gary's Blog

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maui Good News

Maui Visitor Spending Hits Record!

Visitor arrivals to the Valley Isle in January showed that island tourism is nearly reaching pre-recession levels. Maui saw 188,730 visitors in January, up 8.7% from the same month last year. Since records began being kept in 1991, the most visitors to the Valley Isle in January came in 2006, with 193,565 air arrivals, only 2.5% more than we saw last month.

For 2011, Maui County took in 2.2 million visitors, a 4.1% increase over 2010. The County's visitor count record was in 2007, at 2.6 million.

Maui visitor expenditures in January of $365.5 million was an all-time high, and a 13.2% increase over the same month last year.

American Economy Healing

  • 4th quarter growth for the U.S. economy hit 2.8%, the third straight quarter that growth has accelerated.
  • Unemployment is at its lowest level in three years, at 8.3%. Applications for unemployment aid are near a four-year low. Employers added 243,000 net jobs in January, the most in nine months.
  • Consumer spending grew at a 2% annual rate nation wide in the fourth quarter of 2011. January retail sales rose at a faster pace than 2011 as a whole, at a seasonally adjusted 4.8% annual rate (0.4% for the month).
  • Auto sales and durable goods orders surged 15% last quarter.
  • Builders broke ground in January on a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000 homes, the Commerce Department said. That nearly matches November's three-year high.

Bankruptcy Filings Down for 11th Month

The number of people filing for bankruptcy fell again in January, for the 11th straight month.

There were 212 bankruptcy cases file in the state last month, down 13.5% from the same month a year ago.

Filings fell 25% in both Kauai and Maui counties, and nearly 40% in Hawaii County.

30-year Mortgage at Record Low

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to another record low last week, the ninth time that has happened in the last year. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on a 30-year loan dropped to 3.87%. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.14%, also a record low. Records for mortgage rates date back to the 1950's.

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