A seasonal method analysis of RevPAR data for U.S. hotels between January 2016 and August 2019 (left) shows month-to-month trends, according to an article from HotStats. The moving average method reveals overarching trends in the same time period and reveals that RevPAR growth has plateaued since February.

ONE METHOD OF calculating U.S. RevPAR data shows the metric has plateaued since February, according to an article on HotStats.com. Using the moving average method to analyze the data revealed the trend which is not apparent using the seasonal method more commonly employed for creating budgets.

The article by Hotstats’ Laura Resco compares the two methods when applied to a time period from January 2016 to August 2019.

The seasonal method shows short-term variations to understand the trends that are repeated systematically, Resco said. In the time period of the study, the pattern characterized by peaks in March, April and October and declines in January, February, July, August, September, November and December, with May and June acting as a shoulder.

“This is very helpful when creating a budget and forecasting monthly activity. It’s also a quick check for anomalies because it makes it easy to spot outliers that move away from the pattern and require explanation,” Resco said.

However, the volatility of the market makes it harder to find long-term trends using the seasonal method. The moving average uses averages to smooth out those short-term variations to reveal non-systematic changes in the data.

For example, the above-mentioned plateau in what had been an upward trend in RevPAR over the last three years.

“This deceleration of RevPAR can have serious implications for profitability and should drive hoteliers to integrate deeper analysis into their expenses to enhance flow-through,” Resco said.

Last week HotStats did report a 1.1 percent rise in RevPAR for September, however.