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Exhibition industry slows in second half

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Dallas—After encouraging growth in the first half of 2012, the exhibition industry slowed in the second half, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. After growing almost 2.4% in the first half, the CEIR Index ended the year with an annual growth rate of just 1.5%, lagging behind the revised government GDP estimate of 2.2%. The CEIR had forecast 2.9% growth in the index for 2012. “We had a positive outlook during the first and second quarters of 2012; however, the exhibition industry began to slump in the third quarter and continued through the end of the year,” said CEIR economist Allen Shaw, who is chief economist at Global Economic Consulting Associates. “We attribute this to the well-publicized prospect of the "fiscal cliff,' which substantially hurt business sentiment and willingness to incur travel expenses, and ultimately hurt 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.
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