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More airline seats boost visitor arrivals, economy

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An updated University of Guam economic report points to an improving economy.

During a presentation, Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Guam, UOG economics professor Claret Ruane said tourism is not expected to contract as previously forecast. So she says a predicted a minus-1 percent growth rate is now off the table.

"So I'm a little more optimistic, you know our economy hasn't really grown very, very quickly, so as I mentioned if it just stays the same zero percent growth, even if it goes down a little bit, maybe half a percent, I think we are not in major problem," she said. "But that is certainly a revelation."


She attributes the boost in visitor arrivals to an increase in airline seats, especially out of Japan. She warns that visitor safety should be addressed so as not to impact tourism growth. Overall, she's hopeful the government will end the year in the positive.

"I think our tax revenue collections are there, and that's important because if we're spending the same and our tax revenues are increasing, I hope we end up with not a deficit this year, its possible we may run a surplus," Ruane said.

She also said the updated numbers show consumer spending is up, as people have a little more money in their paychecks from the federal tax cuts.

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