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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, August 11, 2000

Hawaiian's business climbs 9.1 percent

Hawaiian Airlines Inc. said today that it carried 9.1 percent more passengers last month than it did in July 1999. The interisland, mainland-Hawaii and Hawaii-South Pacific airline said it had 595,633 passengers last month, compared with 546,045 a year earlier.

Through the first seven months of the year, Hawaiian carried 3.7 million passengers, an increase of 12.1 percent from 3.3 million in the equivalent period of 1999. Hawaiian's systemwide load factor -- the percentage of available seats that were occupied by paying passengers -- rose to 85.4 percent in July, compared with 85.1 percent in July 1999. For the first seven months of this year, Hawaiian's load factor averaged 79.6 percent, an increase of 1.9 points from 77.7 percent in the first seven months of 1999.

Mortgage rates fall to near 8-month low

WASHINGTON -- The nationwide average for 30-year fixed rate mortgages fell this week to the lowest level since late last year as fears lessened that the Federal Reserve will feel the need to boost interest rates further.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported yesterday that fixed-rate loans dropped to 8.04 percent, the lowest level since 30-year mortgages averaged 7.96 percent for the week ending Dec. 24. Long-term mortgage rates reached a five-year high of 8.64 percent in May. The 8.04 percent nationwide average this week represented the third straight weekly decline and put this key rate below where it was a year ago, when it was at 8.15 percent.

The average for 15-year mortgages also fell this week, to 7.75 percent from 7.88 percent last week. On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 7.78 percent, unchanged from last week.

Economists predicted the fall in long-term rates should hold for the rest of the year; some said rates could even dip below 8 percent before year's end.

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