Economic outlook favours air cargo

STORM clouds which have been blackening global economic skies in recent years are forecast to gradually shift away in 2014, with a sunnier outlook for the United States, the European Union – and the Asia Pacific regions in particular.
All the economic signs point to growth in Asia-Pacific markets strengthening, supported by a rebound in exports – driven by consumer demand from an upturn in the USA and EU economies.
As a result, predicted global trade improvements will see air cargo volumes increase in most markets this year.
In the USA, GDP growth is forecast to increase from 1.8 per cent in 2013 to 2.5 in 2014, boosted by an upturn in private consumption and new home construction projects.
Eurozone GDP is expected to recover from 0.4 per cent contraction in 2013 to 0.8 per cent growth in 2014, led by an upturn in Germany, the EU’s largest economy.
It will also be helped by a rebound in the UK economy, with UK economic growth strengthening from 1.4 per cent in 2013 to 2.6 in 2014.
China and Japan, Asia’s two ringleader economies, are expected to continue to show sustained improvement. Economists predicts that Chinese GDP growth is forecast to improve from 7.8 per cent in 2013 to 8.1 in 2014 – helped by stronger growth in exports and continued robust consumer demand – whilst the Japanese economy is projected to grow at 1.8 per cent in 2014, broadly similar to the pace of growth last year.
The prospect for sustained strong Chinese economic growth in 2014 is supported by ongoing large-scale infrastructure spending on urban development, including transportation networks, and a major new investment project for the development of ‘smart cities’.
Some parts of Asia will remain dogged by political risks though. These will continue to create uncertainties in some countries such as India, Thailand and Indonesia, all of which are facing national elections over the next 12 months.
Overall, with growth showing an increase in all four of the world’s largest economies, global growth is forecast to rise from 2.5 per cent in 2013 to 3.23 this year.
In the longer term, the Asia-Pacific region will be the fastest grower over the next 20 years, helped by the rise of China as it becomes the world’s largest economy.

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