5 things to know: 27 April 2018
5 things to know: 27 April 2018
27 APRIL 2018 8:45 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • US economy grew 2.3% during first quarter
  • ESA appoints Brian Nicholson as CFO
  • Hilton foresees strong growth in 2018 and 2019
  • US jobless claims fell by 24,000 to 209,000
  • Hotel investors see opportunities in Western Canada

U.S. economy grew 2.3% during first quarter: The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the country’s economy grew by 2.3% during the first three months of the year, according to an article by The New York Times. 

The economy saw its ups and downs during the first quarter as a result of the recently passed tax reform, a volatile stock market and fears of a trade war over tariffs, The Times reports. However, the economy grew slightly above its average yearly growth rate since the start of the recession.

While the economy came in below the 2.9% annualized rate of Q4 2017 as well as President Donald Trump’s goal of at least 3% growth, forecasters believe quarterly growth will come in near 3% for the rest of the year.

ESA appoints Brian Nicholson as CFO: Brian Nicholson returns to Extended Stay America as CFO after serving in executive roles at multi-unit, consumer-facing companies for the past three years, according to a news release. He will also serve as CFO for ESA’s paired-share real estate investment trust, ESH Hospitality.

Nicholson previously served ESA as VP of financial planning and analysis from 2012 and 2015.

“We are delighted to welcome Brian Nicholson back to the Extended Stay America family,” Jonathan Halkyard, president and CEO of ESA and ESH, said in the news release. “A nationwide search process confirmed what we already knew: that Brian’s intimate knowledge of our operating model, balance sheet, paired share structure, and core business, combined with the executive experience that he has gained over the past three years in other franchising, real estate and retail businesses, makes him the ideal candidate to lead our way forward as we continue to execute on our ESA 2.0 initiatives.”

Hilton foresees strong growth in 2018 and 2019: During Hilton’s first-quarter earnings call, President and CEO Chris Nassetta said the macroeconomic environment should give his company, and the rest of the hotel industry, more time in this cycle, writes HNN’s Sean McCracken.

“I know the cycle is a lot longer than usual, which worries everybody, but I’m not sure it should, necessarily,” Nassetta said. “It’s been a longer cycle but with lower growth.”

U.S. jobless claims fell by 24,000 to 209,000: The U.S. Department of Labor reported the number of initial jobless claims fell by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 in the week through 21 April, The Wall Street Journal reports. This marks the lowest level since December 1969.

The unemployment rate has stayed steady at 4.1% since October, the lowest rate since late 2000, according to the article. The economy has added an average 202,000 jobs a month in 2018, an increase from 182,000 jobs a month in 2017.

Hotel investors see opportunities in Western Canada: Canadian hotel transactions set a record of 3.4 billion Canadian dollars ($2.64 billion) in sales in 2017, and it’s likely the country will see transactions near that level again in 2018, according to a story by Western Investor.

“The major components of the Canadian hotel market are synchronized, and this positive momentum is carrying through to 2018,” said Bill Stone, EVP of CBRE Hotels in Canada.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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