T&E consumption in the Amex network is approaching pre-pandemic levels

Expenditure volume on American Express commercial cards grew to $ 136 billion in the first quarter, above 2019 levels, as large and global customers begin to show signs of recovery in business travel, executives said in a earnings call.

SME spending accounted for $ 115 billion of this volume, an increase of 30 percent year-over-year and 26 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019. Consumption by large and global customers of $ 21 billion marked a 42 percent increase this year. over years, although it was 34 percent lower than volumes in the same period of 2019.

Adjusted for exchange rate effects, total T&E consumption across the American Express network was 88 percent of the level in the first quarter of 2019, and T&E consumption among small and medium-sized customers was at a similar level. Large and global corporate T&E spending was at 38 percent of 2019 levels, but CFO Jeff Campbell said signs of growth became more apparent for this group near the end of the quarter.

“T&E consumption showed a decline in January and early February due to [Covid-19] omicron variant, but spending rose sharply, reflecting accumulated travel demand, essentially reaching 2019 levels for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March, “Campbell said.” Overall, we are pleased with the growth momentum we are seeing overall in our consumption volumes, which follow our expectations for both the year and our long-term expectations. “

U.S. consumer spending was 20 percent above the 2019 level on an adjusted basis for the quarter.

Across all T&E spending, airline spending rose 245 percent year-over-year in the quarter, but remained 34 percent below the 2019 level. Accommodation costs increased 108 percent year over year and decreased 22 percent compared to 2019.

Campbell said business travel is driving part of this increase with more spending in premium cabins and luxury hotels. “Of course, your average purchase of business travel is much higher than the average consumer purchase,” he said.

RELATED: American Express Q4 earnings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.