by By Michael J. Shapiro | September 30, 2009

Economic research firm and Smith Travel Research announced Tuesday that their U.S. hotel industry leading indicator rose 1.7 percent in August, the fourth consecutive month the HIL has increased. The HIL takes into account nine components, including hotel profitability, interest rate spread, new orders for manufactured goods and national vacation barometer. The HIL usually leads industry activity by four to five months; this means that because the HIL has increased for the past four months, an industry upswing could be imminent, according to the forecasters.