Business travel spending is expected to rise 5.1% in 2013, a sign of a stronger economy and high consumer confidence, according to a trade group for business travel managers.
The Global Business Travel Assn.'s latest prediction is an increase from its last prediction of a 4.6% increase in business travel spending over 2012. Travel spending grew by only 1.8% in 2012 over the previous year.
The 5.1% increase means business travelers in the U.S. will spend an estimated $268.5 billion in 2013, according to the trade group.
The increase in travel spending comes primarily from an expected surge in group travel for conferences, meetings and conventions, the association said.
“While there are still many factors that could hamper the economy again, from the impact of sequestration to rising energy prices, business travel spending is heading in the right direction so far in 2013,” said Michael W. McCormick, executive director of the group.
The association said it has seen a correlation between stock prices and business travel spending that supports the prediction of higher spending.
Because stock prices typically surge three to six months before travel spending rises, the association expects travel spending to jump after the stock market’s record highs at the beginning of the year.