After increasing 1.4 percent during March, the Hotel Industry Pulse Index jumped 2.5 percent in April, according to economic research firm e-forecasting.com in conjunction with STR.

The Hotel Industry Pulse Index, or HIP, is a composite indicator that gauges business activity in the United States hotel industry in real time, similar to a GDP measure. The latest monthly change brought the index to a reading of 85.5. The index was set to equal 100 in 2000.

HIP’s six-month growth rate, which historically has signaled turning points in U.S. hotel business activity, continued to show improvement. After 20 months of the six-month growth rate being negative, the rate has gone up three consecutive months. During April, the six-month growth hit 9.1 percent, more than doubling March’s increase of 4 percent. This compares with a long-term growth rate of 3.2 percent, which is the same as the 38-year average annual growth rate of the industry’s gross domestic product. “As noted last month, using the same method as the National Bureau of Economic Research, whose dating committee officially determines turning points in the U.S. economy, we believe the hotel industry recession ended in November of 2009,” said Maria Simos, CEO of e-forecasting.com. “This month’s report suggests extremely strong fundamentals with the indicator, and the six-month growth rate is making a major turnaround.”

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