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“Surprisingly strong” is how economists for Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) described the first quarter of 2014. The first quarter results of the CEIR Index was in line with projections and revealed the Total Index increased by 2.6 percent compared to the same period in 2013 and outperformed Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 0.6 percentage point.

“We are very pleased by the first-quarter results, which are positive and confirm our forecast that ongoing growth is still anticipated for the exhibitions and events industry,” said Allen Shaw, Ph.D., economist, CEIR, and chief economist, Global Economic Consulting Associates Inc. “The performance in the first quarter was quite remarkable considering the fact that the East Coast was frequently paralyzed under severe winter weather. With 15 consecutive quarters of growth, we are confident in the continued growth and progress of the industry.”

Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry Vs. Quarterly Real GDP, Year-on-Year % Change, 2008Q1-2014Q1

Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry Vs. Quarterly Real GDP, Year-on-Year % Change, 2008Q1-2014Q1

Parallel indicators of growth of Net Square Feet, Exhibitors and Attendees all showed year-on-year gains in the first quarter. The strongest performers were Net Square Feet and Real Revenues, which both rose 2.9 percent. The number of Exhibitors increased 2.8 percent, and Attendance increased 1.7 percent – a leading indicator of continued economic recovery. It is anticipated that growth will continue through 2014, and these findings and predictions through 2016 will be presented at PREDICT: CEIR’s annual outlook conference to be held Sept. 11 in Chicago.

Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year % Change, 2007-2014Q1

Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year % Change, 2007-2014Q1

As an objective measure of the annual performance of the exhibition industry, the CEIR Index measures year-over-year changes in four key metrics to determine overall performance: Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space Sold; Professional Attendance; Number of Exhibiting Companies; and Gross Revenue. The CEIR Index provides exhibition industry performance across 14 key industry sectors: Business Services; Consumer Goods; Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services; Education; Food; Financial, Legal and Real Estate; Government; Building, Construction, Home and Repair; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; Communications and Information Technology; Medical and Health Care; Raw Materials and Science; Sporting Goods, Travel and Entertainment; and Transportation.

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