Corporate card provider American Express saw global travel and entertainment (T&E) spending by clients rise by 41 per cent year-on-year to reach $26 billion in the first quarter of 2023, with the company seeing no real sign of any slowdown in demand.
Total T&E spending in Q1 was up from about $25 billion in each of the previous three quarters, according to Amex, which described demand as “particularly robust”. The first quarter of 2022 included some impact on travel spending due to the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which affected year-on-year comparisons.
Overall corporate spending - including but not exclusively T&E - among Amex's large and global corporate accounts increased 34 per cent year-on-year, while spending among small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) increased by a more modest 6 per cent.
T&E spending increased among all Amex segments. International customers' T&E spending on Amex products, which includes both business and consumer transactions, reached $24 billion in the quarter, up by 58 per cent on Q1 of 2022.
“It just keeps growing,” said Amex chairman and CEO Steve Squeri during the company's earnings call. "We still think we have more room to grow and airlines will also expand their capacity.
“As they expand their capacity, we’ll continue to grow with them.…and when there’s more upside in airlines, it becomes more upside in lodging."
Amex reported total revenue of $14.3 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 22 per cent on the same quarter last year. The company's net income for the quarter was $1.8 billion, which was down from $2.1 billion in Q1 of 2022.