December 12, 2019 / 1:31 PM / a month ago

IATA says sees tentative signs of air cargo recovery

FILE PHOTO: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) logo is seen at the International Tourism Trade Fair ITB in Berlin, Germany, March 7, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - Air cargo markets, an economic bellwether linked to global trade, are beginning to stabilize after a downturn in 2019, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.

“We are seeing some tentative signs of improvement,” Andrew Matters, deputy chief economist at the global airlines body, told reporters.

IATA is predicting a 2% recovery in global air cargo traffic in 2020 after a 3.3% decline in 2019, driven by a tariff war between the United States and China.

The recovery is fragile with risks tilted to the downside, led by the impact of a trade war, Matters said.

Air freight typically rebounds strongly in a ‘V-shaped’ recovery after a downturn, but the predicted 2020 recovery is relatively flat.

Reporting by Tim Hepher; editing by Jason Neely

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