Lodging Executive Sentiment Flatlines

The current Lodging Executives Sentiment Index of 50 suggests neither expansion nor decline. This compares to last period's reading of 44.0 and 72.3 during the same period last year.

The Present Situation Index of 37.5 is nearly unchanged from last period's reading of 38.0, but departs drastically from 78.6 during the same period a year ago.

The Future Expectations Index reading of 62.5 indicates an increase in business activity, while last period's reading of 50.0 indicated neither expansion nor decline. Last year's reading of the Future Expectations Index was slightly more optimistic at 66.1.

More than eight percent of respondents felt current business conditions were good versus 12 percent last period; 58.3 percent deemed them normal, up from 52 percent last period; one-third of the lodging executives responding to the poll indicated current business conditions were bad, down slightly from 36 percent last period.

About four in 10 of those surveyed thought business conditions would improve in the next 12 months, significantly better than last period's 24 percent; 41.7 percent feel business conditions will be the same as compared to 52 percent last period; only 16.7 percent of the lodging executives thought business conditions would be worse 12 months from now, versus 24 percent last period.

The Reservations Expectation Index, which asks lodging executives to project room reservations for the next 12 months, shows growing optimism — from 41.3 percent last period to 58.3 for the current period. Forty-two percent of lodging executives expected room reservations to increase in the next 12 months, compared to only 17.4 percent last period. A third felt rooms reservations would stay the same compared to 47.8 percent last period, and 25 percent indicated rooms reservations would slow in the next 12 months as compared to 34.8 percent last period.

The Lodging Employment Index moved up to 59.1 from last period's 52.1 and 63.0 last year at this time; 33.3 percent of the executives, versus 34.8 percent last period, indicated they expect to add non-management employees in the next 12 months; 45.5 percent expect to maintain current levels (up from 37.5 percent last period); and 18.1 percent of executives reported they were going to lay off non-management employees versus 29.5 percent last period.

The LESI, a leading economic indicator based on opinions of lodging executives, is developed and prepared by the University of New Hampshire's Hospitality Management Department.

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