Despite expectations otherwise, occupancy levels increased marginally (0.4 percent), surprising many with continued growth at this stage in the lodging cycle. Growth in occupancy levels was supported by strong demand increases in the contract segment, while transient and group demand declined modestly on a year-over-year basis.

Despite concerns over the impact from the trade tensions with China and rising construction/labor costs, the US lodging industry ended 2018 on solid footing, with occupancy reaching levels not seen since 1981.

Looking ahead to 2019, our US lodging outlook remains stable, driven by steady economic fundamentals, including a continued increase in consumer spending; increasing, albeit decelerating business investment; and relatively strong consumer confidence.