Distortions mask modest cargo improvement

Comparisons with February 2012 performance however show a 6.2 percent decline.


air cargo IATA Tony Tyler


IATA has released February data showing that air cargo maintained the modest improvement in demand that began in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Seasonally adjusted cargo volumes are 2.5 percent above the October 2012 low point. Comparisons with February 2012 performance however show a 6.2 percent decline. This is severely skewed as a result of two factors (1) February 2012 has an extra day owing to the leap year and (2) Chinese New Year (which is accompanied by many factory closings in Asia) occurred in January 2012 and in February 2013. After adjusting for these abnormalities, however, air cargo was actually up two percent in February compared to the previous year.

“February’s air cargo performance has sustained the weak recovery that began in the fourth quarter of 2012. This is welcome news after two consecutive years of contraction. It is even better news that this growth is expected to pick up moderately as the year progresses. But improvements cannot be taken for granted. Events in Cyprus have reminded us that the Eurozone crisis is far from over. Any resulting loss of business confidence could shift the outlook for the worse,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.