The anticipated 3 percent increase in the nationwide sales tax, to 8 percent, will undoubtedly be a blow, Ishioka said, but she expects it to be short-lived given the current relatively favorable trends.

"People's sentiment is improving. I think the fundamental conditions are OK," she said.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

If you liked this article you might like

What's Behind the Surge in Energy Stocks

Hillary Clinton Says Prosecuting Individuals is Key to Wall Street Reform