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Trade Shows Outgain GDP in Q2

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
September 1, 2017
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Dallas — The trade show industry had a welcome growth spurt in the Second Quarter of 2017, outperforming the nation’s real GDP for the first time since last year.

The latest edition of the CEIR Index, released Aug. 31 by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), indicated growth in each of its trade show metric categories and pegged the industry’s overall growth rate at 2.9% over the same period last year. The upward move outshone the U.S. real GDP growth rate of 2.2%.

“The increase in Q2 validates our prediction that economic fundamentals continue pointing to moderate growth for the exhibition industry,” said CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.

The results for Q2 were a welcome contrast to the two previous quarters, which featured 1.6% overall growth in Q1 and a (0.4)% decline in Q4 of 2016. The Q4 performance included retreats in three of four metrics, with a modest 1.3% increase in exhibit space. That quarter also saw exhibitions performing below the GDP rate.

The Q2 rebound was led by a 4.0% jump in real show revenues. Attendance growth was right behind with a 3.8% increase, followed by a 2.1% increase in exhibit space and 1.8% growth in exhibitors.

The rise in Q2 included bullish performances in the Building, Construction, Home and Repair sector as well as the Government sector; Communications and Information Technology; and Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services. Raw Materials and Science and Business Services posted year-over-year declines.

The CEIR Index findings will be further dissected at the CEIR Predict conference in Washington, D.C., Sept. 14-15. “We are looking forward to the conversations taking place at CEIR Predict, including hearing from economic experts on their predictions for the remaining months of 2017," said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden. “There is a lot going on this year with a major hurricane in Houston and trade agreement negotiations in Washington.”

Additional information about CEIR Predict, along with registration information, can be found at www.ceir.org/predict/home.

Reach Cathy Breden at (972) 687-9242 or cbreden@ceir.org; Allen Shaw at (484) 343-6411 or allens@gecainc.com.

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