A team of researchers at the University of New Hampshire has announced a new economic tool — something they’ve been developing for almost 12 years. The Lodging Executive Sentiment Index, or LESI, is based on a monthly survey of 20 lodging executives who run more than 55 percent of all lodging rooms in the country.
“Lodging is known to be closely linked to the general economy,” writes E. Hachemi Aliouche and two coauthors, in the study upon which the index is based. Their study found that lodging executives’ expectations are not only an indication of the hospitality industry’s well-being, but “can be regarded as leading indicators for retail sales, employment, interest rates, and stock prices.”
Authors Aliouche, Nelson Barber, and Raymond J. Goodman, Jr. say the index can forecast a year ahead. They will publish third-quarter analysis of 2012 figures later this year.