U.S. business travel spending is on the rise this year, it's just not quite as exuberant as earlier forecasts predicted, according to the quarterly report issued Tuesday by the Global Business Travel Association.
The scaled-back forecast is due to a decline in average spending per trip, mainly due to business travelers visiting fewer cities per trip, said Michael McCormick, executive director and chief operating officer of the Global Business Travel Association.
"We're not sure if it's a trend," McCormick said of the per-trip spending decline, which only started this past quarter. "We don't know if it will continue."
It's not limited to any specific sectors or regions. "So far it's across the board," McCormick said.
U.S. business travel spending is expected to rise 6.8 percent, to $292.3 billion, in 2014, according to the second-quarter edition of the GBTA Business Travel Index Outlook for the United States, which is sponsored by Visa. In April, the GBTA's quarterly forecast was a more optimistic 7.1 percent, up from January's forecast of 6.6 percent for 2014.
Despite the slight reduction in the forecast, the numbers remain on a slow and steady course upward, McCormick said. He also emphasized the spending appears to be shrugging off any stock market drama, Russian embargo news or even World Cup matches.
"They don't have any impact on these numbers overall. In a global economy we're becoming more resilient," McCormick said.