A number of domestic and international factors are causing global uncertainty, leading corporations to take a more cautious outlook in 2016.  As a result growth in US business travel volume will increase only slightly in the first quarter of 2016 – growing 1.8 percent year-over-year.  This according to the latest GBTA BTI Outlook – United States 2016 Q1 from the GBTA Foundation.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, 125.1 million person-trips were generated in the United States and $72.4 billion was spent on business travel activity.  This represents flat year-over-year growth in trip volume and 0.7 percent growth in business travel spending, according to the report, which was sponsored by Visa, Inc.

The business travel forecast for all of 2016 looks very similar to previous years with anemic but steady growth.  However the outlook for 2017 may improve as the health of the global economy becomes clearer and a number of unknown factors are resolved later this year, such as the US presidential election and the possible “Brexit” of the United Kingdom from the EU.

Prices in 2016 are projected to grow at a modest 2.5 percent, followed by a more significant gain of 4 percent in 2017. US business travel spending is expected to increase 1.9 percent in 2016 to $295.7 billion and business travel volume is forecasted to increase 2.1 percent to 508.6 million trips.