Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in its latest Economic Outlook stated (18-Nov-2010) economic activity in OECD countries will gradually pick up steam over the coming two years, but the recovery will be uneven and unemployment will remain persistently high. OECD added that with the functioning of the financial sector returning to normal and households and business in a position to renew spending and investment, the main challenge facing governments today is moving from a policy-driven recovery toward self-sustained growth. GDP across OECD countries is projected to rise by 2.3% in 2011 and 2.8% in 2012. In the US, activity is projected to rise by 2.2% in 2011 and then by 3.1% in 2012. Euro area growth is forecast at 1.7% in 2011 and 2% in 2012, while in Japan, GDP is expected to expand by 1.7% in 2011 and by 1.3% in 2012. Emerging markets are expected to grow at a quicker pace than the OECD, helping to lift global trade growth to more than 8% annually in 2011 and 2012.
OECD expects economic activity to gradually pick up over next two years
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CAPA airline profit outlook. Record margins from capacity restraint, but upswings are not forever
This six-monthly update of the CAPA world airline operating margin model continues to expect industry margins in 2015 to 2017 above previous cyclical peaks, albeit falling slightly in 2017. This is in spite of unexceptional global GDP growth, which has not regained its long term trend rate since 2010.
The higher level of airline operating margin from a given GDP growth rate has been due to several factors. Lower oil prices have played their part, particularly since mid-2014, as does a higher level of global traffic growth than would previously have been expected from relatively sluggish GDP growth. In addition to these external issues, perhaps the most significant factor is a greater degree of capacity discipline. This is now most deeply rooted in the US, which is now by far the most profitable airline region, helping to drive the global result.
On a more cautionary note, the IMF has recently cut its global GDP forecasts, citing Brexit and other geopolitical risks. In addition, profit warnings in recent weeks from IAG, easyJet and Lufthansa are a reminder that cyclical upswings do not last forever. A test of the airline industry's improved profitability will be its resilience in a downturn.
Brexit and aviation Part 2: lower air traffic, economic uncertainty. UK-EU relations up in the air
The British exit from the European Union will have a negative impact on UK air traffic as a result of weaker GBP – an immediate effect – and a weaker GDP outlook. Air freight is also likely to be negatively affected by lower levels of international trade. The impact on air traffic is also likely to be felt in the rest of Europe, while economists are also warning that Brexit adds to the uncertainties facing the global economy.
European airline share prices have been hard hit since the UK referendum result was announced early on 24-Jun-2016, particularly those of easyJet and British Airways' parent IAG. This reflects the likely lowering of demand, but also the significant regulatory uncertainty surrounding the sector, particularly with respect to market access.
UK membership of the European Common Aviation Area would preserve existing market access and is the expected route. However, UK political turmoil and question marks concerning its ongoing commitment to EU principles may compromise its access in the future. Profit warnings from IAG and easyJet point to at least a slowing of profit growth. It is difficult to see the world airline profit cycle continuing the upswing of recent years.