First, congratulations to my spouse C. for passing the Hawai’i Real Estate licensing examination. After several weeks of seemingly living apart in the same house while C. was studying real estate laws and regulations, we are together again.*
Recently, at a Honolulu economic forum Dr. Carl Bonham, Executive Director of the University of Hawai’i Economic Research Organization (aptly named HERO), presented an assessment of the national economy, as well as Hawai’i. In discussing the global macro-picture Dr. Bonham was generally upbeat on the U.S. economy, except for jobs (U.S. unemployment is stuck at around slightly above 8% with stagnant new jobs/hiring reports; however, Spain and other European Union countries have >16% unemployment figures, or double U.S. stats — Greece has a staggering 23% unemployment rate).
Gasoline prices are up, and this is not good for the U.S. balance-of-payments (paying for imported oil), and many industries (plastics, textiles) are dependent on petroleum for product manufacturing, so this adds to a slower recovery. High gasoline prices shall impact Mainland vacation travel by car, and so may put a damper on summer spending.
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