American Express, the corporate card provider, saw customers' global travel and entertainment (T&E) spending rise 41 percent year-over-year to $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 the first quarter increased from about $25 billion in each of the previous three quarters, according to Amex, which described demand as "extremely robust." The first quarter of 2022 had some impact on travel spending due to the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, impacting year-over-year comparisons.
Total business spending — including but not limited to T&E — among Amex's large and global corporate accounts grew 34 percent year-over-year, while spending among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) grew a more modest 6 percent.
T&E expenses increased in 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 58 percent from the first quarter of 2022.
"It just keeps growing," Amex Chairman and CEO Steve Squeri said during the company's earnings call. “We still think we have more room to grow and airlines will expand capacity as well.
“As they expand their capacity, we continue to grow with them…and as there is more benefit with airlines, so does accommodation.”
Amex reported total revenue of $14,3 billion in the first quarter, up 22 percent from the same quarter last year. The company's net income for the quarter was $1,8 billion, down from $2,1 billion in the first quarter of 2022.