As air freight begins to move into, out of, and within Europe, perhaps it is time to look ahead.
Historically, demand for air freight has grown at roughly twice the rate of
growth of world GDP. In recent years, the two-to-one ratio has shrunk somewhat,
but whatever the exact relationship, GDP growth is clearly an important
predictor of growth in air freight traffic.
I bring this up because the International Monetary Fund today raised its forecast for global
economic growth in 2010 to 4.2%, while maintaining its 4.3% growth projection
in 2011. The IMF said: “A global depression has been averted. The world
economy is recovering, and recovering better than we had previously thought
likely.” While sustained growth is not a given, this report at least shows that
the fears of some in our industry that the recovery would stall after the Asian
New Year (or by the end of the first quarter), were unfounded.
As might be expected, the strongest growth in 2010 is predicted to come in China (10.0%) and India (8.8%), while the US and Canada will
lead the advanced economies with growth of 3.1%, followed by Japan (1.9%), the
UK (1.3%), and the Euro Area (1.0%). A detailed summary of the forecast can be
found on the IMF website at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2010/RES042110A.htm