Sentiment Keeps Pace

The composite Lodging Executives Sentiment Index (LESI) remains strong and shows continued expansion of general business conditions in the lodging sector. This month's mark of 89.0 compares to 85.9 last period and 81.3 a year ago. The Present Situation Index reads very slightly higher at 92.0 versus 91.3 last period and 78.1 last year. The Future Situation Index reading of 86.0 (up from 80.4 last year) also suggests continued expansion in the industry.

The distribution of responses to the Present Conditions Index portion of the survey represents the most positive depiction in any reporting period of the last 12 months. Eighty-four percent of respondents indicate that current business conditions are good, while 16 percent say current conditions are normal; none consider current conditions to be bad. About seven in ten lodging executives surveyed believe conditions will be even better in the next 12 months; 28 percent sense that business conditions in the future will be about the same as they are today.

Lodging executives corroborate their future business conditions optimism with The Reservations Expectations Index, which reads at 90.0 — up from the previous reading of 80.4. The survey question asks lodging executives to project room reservations over the next 12 months as compared to the last 12.

The Lodging Employment Index reads very slightly higher at 74.0 versus last period's reading of 73.9 and 69.4 a year ago to date. The survey asks lodging industry executives whether over the next 12 months they expect to 1) add to the total number of non-management employees, 2) keep the number about the same or 3) reduce the number of employees. Sixty percent expect to add non-management employees in the next 12 months, while 28 percent expect to keep the total number of employees the same. Twelve percent say they plan to lay off employees in the next year.

The LESI Index follows the Institute of Supply Management's Index method of tracking leading indicators. The LESI was developed and is maintained by LodgingForecast. It satisfies the need for real-time information for executive decisionmaking in the lodging industry.

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