In its second-quarter Cargo Chartbook, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted a likely slowdown ahead for airfreight traffic, as traffic in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) rose by a slower 4 percent, year-over-year, during the three months ended April.
The positive air freight performance during 2017 was supported by overall strength in world trade demand that is beginning to flag. Although FTKs have continued to increase y-o-y, in seasonally adjusted terms, FTKs fell quarter-on-quarter for the first time in two years, and have tracked sideways for the past six months. IATA attributed slowing growth to weaker sentiment surrounding world trade, connected to increasing concerns over protectionist rhetoric and tariffs.
IATA also reported a decline in the new export order component of the global manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), an indicator of economic health in the manufacturing and service sectors. The PMI reached a 21-month low recently, which is “still consistent with rising orders,” according to IATA, but indicates that third-quarter FTK growth is likely to be even lower, at just under 2 percent.
You can read a more in-depth analysis of the report in our sister publication, Cargo Facts:
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