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iata air cargo jan 2019GENEVA: March 06, 2019. IATA says its member airlines reported a drop of 1.8 percent in total freight tonne-kilometres flown for January 2019 compared to the same month in 2018 - the slowest rate of growth for three years.

Meanwhile a four percent rise in capacity for the comparative period resulted in a 2.7 percent overall drop in load factor.

”Air cargo markets contracted in January. This is a worsening of a weakening trend that started in mid-2018. Unless protectionist measures and trade tensions diminish there is little prospect of a quick re-bound,” commented Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

One key indicator cited by IATA for the decline is the global manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) that hit a 32-month low last month at 50.6 as the rate of expansion in new orders stayed close to the stagnation mark.

According to the JP Morgan/HIS Markit PMI for February, the US saw output increase at its slowest pace in 17 months, the eurozone reported a contraction for the first time since June 2013, and the rate of decline in Japan was the fastest since May 2016.

However, this was partly offset by a recovery in China, where output rose marginally after its weakest performance in two-and-a- half years in January.

International trade remained “lacklustre” in February, with new export orders in both developed and developing countries falling for the sixth consecutive month. The index also noted that business optimism fell to its second-lowest level in the history of the PMI series during February with confidence falling to its weakest in over six years in developed nations, and to a two-month low in emerging markets.

"The outlook remains lacklustre, as stagnant new order growth, declining international trade volumes and weak business confidence rein in the prospects of output growth staging a meaningful revival in the coming months,” said David Hensley, J.P. Morgan director of Global Economic Coordination.

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