UNH News Release: UNH: LESI Increases Despite Flat Future Outlook
December 18, 2013
UNH: LESI Increases Despite Flat Future Outlook

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire Lodging Executives Sentiment Index (LESI) for the current period ending November 2013 moved up slightly to 80.0 from 75.0 in October 2013. Overall lodging executives sentiment for present business conditions was up during this current period while future business conditions remained flat.

“There appears to be continued concern among executives surrounding future business conditions, in particular, within transient and corporate business,” said Nelson Barber, associate professor of hospitality management, who manages the index.

Seventy-three percent of lodging executives indicated current business conditions were good, an increase from 53 percent last period, while 27 percent indicated conditions were normal, down from 47 percent during the same period. No executive indicated such conditions were bad in either period.

Managed by the Department of Hospitality Management at the UNH Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, the LESI is based on a monthly survey of lodging executives representing companies with more than 2.5 million hotel rooms across lodging segments and geographic regions of the United States -- more than 55 percent of all U.S. rooms.

Executives are asked about the present and future business conditions, and to report their outlook during the next 12 months about room reservations and employment practices, such as an increase or decrease of their nonmanagerial work force.

The LESI indices follow the Institute of Supply Management's Index (ISM) method of tracking leading indicators. A LESI survey reading of greater than 50 indicates expansion whereas a reading below 50 indicates decline and the distance from 50 in either direction is indicating the strength of the expansion or decline. The ISM Index increased to 57.3 in November 2013 from 56.4 in October 2013.

Looking forward, 47 percent of the executives thought business conditions will be better in the next 12 months, while 53 percent indicated they will be the same; both measures were unchanged from last month. Executive sentiment for this period revealed that no executive thought business conditions would be worse.

Looking forward 12 months, lodging executives expect the hiring of nonmanagerial employees to remain flat as compared to October 2013. This is counter to the national unemployment rate for November 2013, which dropped to 7.0 from 7.3 in October 2013. The ISM Employment Index, which increased by 3.3 percentage points to 56.5 percent, showed similar improvement.

For more information about LESI, visit http://paulcollege.unh.edu/LESI.

The UNH Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics offers a full complement of high-quality programs in business, economics, accounting, finance, information systems management, marketing, and hospitality management. Programs are offered at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive development levels. The college is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the premier accrediting agency for business schools worldwide.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.

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Nelson Barber, associate professor of hospitality management, is available to discuss the November LESI report. He can be reached at nelson.barber@unh.edu. The most recent LESI report is available at http://paulcollege.unh.edu/LESI.

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