AVIXA just published its July Pro AV Business Index, calculated from an aggregate of its AV Sales Index (AVI-S) and AV Employment Index (AVI-E), and it shows that there was an increase of 3.4 points from June — the first such monthly increase since February 2020, in fact.
This month, the AV sales index (AVI-S) reached 53.7, indicating the growth over June, when the index’s 50.3 mark suggested no net change. AVIXA was quick to point out that although it’s a minimal growth number, but this is good news.
In July’s report, AVIXA also folded in questions from the weekly COVID-19 Impact Survey (from March until the end of June). The top finding from the additional questions is that its panelists report a year-to-date revenue decline of 20.8% versus the same period for the previous year. Staffing was steadier, dropping 9.0%. Despite these significant declines, providers show optimism for recovery, with a clear majority anticipating revenues to get back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021.
Second-quarter GDP numbers came out for key markets, revealing the steep economic toll our world has paid so far this year. The EU statistical office reported that the eurozone second-quarter GDP dropped 12.1% from its first-quarter figure, which was already down 3.6% from the end of 2019. U.S. numbers released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed an even worse situation, with a second-quarter drop of 32.9% on the back of a 5.0% first-quarter drop. The silver lining of these figures is that they roughly matched expectations. Economists and business leaders knew such massive declines were coming, so measures like equity markets did not significantly change in response to the news.
The AV employment index (AVI-E) flipped to growth territory in July with the index increasing 3.1 points from 48.1 to 51.2. Comparing international respondents to North American respondents shows that this increase was primarily driven by U.S. growth. Shifting attention to the broader U.S. economy, payrolls added 1.8 million workers — fully 500,000 of them at restaurants and bars — as the unemployment rate dropped to 10.2%.