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Trade Show Industry Encouraged by GDP Q3 Estimate of Annual Growth

graph showing the percent chnage from the preceding quarter ranging from 2018-2022

CHICAGO — Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.2% in the third quarter (Q3) of 2022 according to the “third” estimate recently released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP decreased by 0.6%. The revised Q3 GDP estimate is signaling that the economy is continuing to recover from the effects of the pandemic and is showing signs of strengthening. This is a positive sign for the economy, as it suggests that the worst of the economic downturn may be behind us. 

The report attributed the increase in real GDP for the third quarter to increases in exports, consumer spending, nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and federal government spending, that were partly offset by decreases in residential fixed investment and private inventory investment. Consumer spending and business investment were singled out as major contributors to the boost in GDP. Consumer spending on services, such as health care, education, and recreation, was particularly strong. Additionally, business investment in equipment and intellectual property increased. 

Related. CEIR Q3 Index Shows B2B Event Industry is Still in Recovery Mode 

Data collected on activity in the trade show industry throughout 2022 reflects the slow but steady growth in GDP. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has documented an intent to return to face-to-face engagement at B2B exhibitions, and the CEIR Index quarterly results show that a recovery in the trade show industry is happening. “With the safety measures implemented at large gatherings that have been held, and with a majority of the population vaccinated and boosted, the recovery of B2B exhibitions should continue,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP-F, CAE, CEM.  

Trade show organizers are also optimistic that the impact of the pandemic is over and the economy will continue to move forward. “We are encouraged,” said Jeff Quade, EVP of Exhibitions for GES. “Making meaningful connections is essential to our core business, so this is a positive turning point for our clients, exhibitors, attendees, and teams. Our employees have successfully adapted to this new worldview, and we look forward to continuing what we do best — creating memorable experiences for marketers, organizers, and event participants.” 

Economic experts are generally encouraged by the growth in the third quarter, noting that it is likely to continue into the fourth quarter. They attribute the growth to an improving job market, higher wages, and increased consumer confidence. However, some experts caution that the current growth rate may not be sustainable in the long-term, as it could be affected by the ongoing trade disputes or other economic headwinds. 

The 2022 Q3 GDP report may provide some clues, but there are other factors that will ultimately determine the strength of the economy in 2023. It is important to consider the impact of changes in government policies, consumer spending, the job market, inflation, and global economic conditions. As more information becomes available, economists will be better able to make predictions about the economy in 2023.  

“The takeaway from the latest data shows that the labor market remains strong although the establishment and household surveys give conflicting messages. Monetary policy appears to have succeeded in reducing inflation, despite continued high prices of both food and energy,” said Peter Rupert, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), Director of the Economic Forecast Project, and Associate Director of the Laboratory for Aggregate Economics and Finance at UCSB. 

Reach Cathy Breden at; Jeff Quade at; Peter Rupert, Ph.D. at  

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