These findings are part of the GBTA BTI™ Outlook – United States 2015 Q3, a report by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and sponsored by Visa, Inc. “Growth in U.S. business travel spending is softening as result of the uncertain macro-economic environment,” said Michael W. McCormick, Executive Director and COO of the Global Business Travel Association. “While the number of trips are up, total spending per trip is down. That can be linked to growing uncertainty and risk associated with the global economy, especially in China, Russia and the Middle East and the global collapse in oil prices. This should sound a clear note of caution for the overall U.S. economy.” The Outlook released today represents a downward revision from the one released in July, when growth was projected to grow at 4.9 percent in 2015 and 5.4 percent in 2016. The revision can be attributed to three key factors: 1) U.S. companies are becoming far more selective in authorizing business travel abroad as a result of global economic uncertainty and risk. While we expect 5.4 percent growth in International outbound business travel volume this year, spending growth rates will be slashed by more than 50 percent from 2014 (from 8.6 to 3.4 percent). 2) Inflation in the business travel sector will be nearly flat (0.5 percent) in 2015 and modest (3.0 percent) in 2016, primarily due to the collapse of global oil prices. While the volume of U.S. originated trips will increase 0.7 percent from 495.8 million in 2014 to 499.2 million in 2015 and 514.8 million in 2016, the total growth rate for spend is actually down. This is especially true in two areas – air travel spending, which will decrease by 3.4 percent in 2015, and ground transportation spending, which will decrease by 7.7 percent. 3) Actual (as opposed to projected) business travel figures, which were revised to indicate higher trip numbers and lower spending figures for 2014. “According to the U.S. BTI forecast, companies are looking for ways increase business travel while still keeping costs in check,” said David Henstock, VP of Global Commercial Solutions, Visa Inc. “As companies look for efficiencies across their organization, electronic payments play a key role in helping both buyers and suppliers in the travel industry manage expenses and drive savings to their bottom line.” Get the full story at GBTA