Lodging demand and
pricing are "expected to remain on positive trajectories through 2013,"
according to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers forecast, issued this week. In
reporting "stronger lodging demand and economic activity that exhibits
less retrenchment than expected," the firm now expects room-night demand
within the U.S. lodging industry this year to increase 1.8 percent year over
year, "which combined with still-restrained supply growth of 0.8 percent
is anticipated to boost occupancy levels to 62 percent, the highest since
PwC also projected that
revenue per available room would increase 5.9 percent, more than the firm previously
expected and "representing the fourth year of lodging recovery." PwC
forecast the average daily rate to rise 4.8 percent, which would be the largest
increase since 2007.
Though it projected
ongoing recovery in all hotel tiers, the firm forecast that "higher-priced
segments are expected to experience the strongest gains." Citing
"stronger business transient and group activity," PwC added that
occupancy levels at hotels in the luxury, upper-upscale and upscale segments
have already exceeded pre-recession peaks."
Issued quarterly, PwC
said its projections are based on historical data provided by STR and "an
updated macroeconomic forecast released by Macroeconomic Advisers." The
December outlook from the latter, according to PwC, "anticipates slightly
weaker economic growth in the first half of 2013, reflecting ongoing fiscal
contraction and policy wrangling, uncertainty regarding the eurozone crisis and
still-impaired bank and household balance sheets." The second half of the
year would see "stronger economic growth," and Macroeconomic Advisers
"now expects real gross domestic product to increase by 2.6 percent in
2013, measured on a fourth-quarter-over-fourth-quarter basis," PwC added.