Nosedive: LAX Passenger Traffic Stalls, International Traffic Drops, Air Cargo Volumes Plunge

The Los Angeles Business Journal is reporting passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) stalled in August. International traffic and freight volumes show a much gloomier picture of economic trouble ahead.

LAX passenger traffic for August was 8.14 million, unchanged YoY, an ominous sign that the airline industry is about to experience below-trend growth heading into the back-half of the year.

Figures from Los Angeles World Airports, the airport authority that owns and operates LAX, shows international traffic volumes had 77,800 fewer passengers in August, a decline of about 3.1% YoY. Domestic traffic, however, increased by 77,300, or 1.4% YoY, which offset the drop in international traffic.

For the first eight months of 2019, passenger traffic grew 0.7% to 59.7 million, an increase of about 410,000 passengers compared with the same period last year. International passenger traffic for the same period was down 1.5% to 17.5 million, while domestic traffic was up 1.6% to 42.1 million.

Los Angeles World Airports said as a result of the US and China trade war. Air cargo tonnage plunged 8% in August YoY. For the first eight months of the year, air cargo volumes at LAX fell 4.7% compared with the same period last year.

With the global economy already in a manufacturing recession and expected to enter a full-blown recession in the next year, alternative data, such as LAX traffic and freight volumes, shows the US economy isn't an economic island and will likely slow with the rest of the world into the 2020 timeframe. This is more bad news for the Trump administration who based their entire presidency on a robust economy.