The outlook for the salon and spa industry rose slightly in the second quarter, according to the Professional Beauty Association’s Performance Index, which surveys 700 salons and spas nationwide. The outlook for the salon/spa industry improved in the second quarter, as the Professional Beauty Association’s Salon/Spa Performance Index registered a solid gain. The Salon/Spa Performance Index – a quarterly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. salon/spa industry – stood at 101.8 in the second quarter, up 0.7 percent from its first quarter level. The current situation index measures salon and spa owners’ customer traffic flow, employee hires and fires, capital expenditure and service and retail sales. The expectation index asks these owners about their outlook for the industry, what their feelings are about the future of business and how positive or negative these feelings are. Salon/spa owners reported an improvement in service sales in the second quarter. Thirty-nine percent of salon/spa owners reported an increase in same-store service sales between the second quarters of 2008 and 2009, up from 35 percent who reported a sales gain in the first quarter. Thirty-nine percent of salon/spa owners reported a same-store service sales decline in the second quarter, down from 44 who reported lower sales in the first quarter. While the increases are good, the current situation index remained below 100 at 99.7, signifying contraction. However, expectations grew to 103.9 in the quarter, showing that there is a solid level of optimism for industry growth in the months ahead. Salon/spa owners are also decidedly upbeat about the direction of the overall economy. Sixty-three percent of salon/spa owners said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months, while only six percent expect to see worse economic conditions in six months. This sentiment was relatively unchanged from first quarter levels. The index was formed so that salons and spas have a metric to gauge performance, such as the restaurant and housing industries, said Sam Leyvas, director of Government & Industry Affairs for PBA. Source: “Professional Beauty Association’s Performance Index,” conducted by the Professional Beauty Association, 2Q 2009. Website: www.probeauty.org.