Airline Passenger Miles Continue Slow, Steady Growth
System revenue passenger miles, which measure for each flight how many people were on the plane times the number of miles the plane flew, is a very good leading indicator of aerospace industrial production. According to the Bureau of Transportation, system revenue passenger miles were 64.0 billion in November 2012. This was 0.9% more than in November 2011. Also, it was the highest number of system revenue passenger miles in November since 2007.
Real personal income is a good leading indicator for system revenue passenger miles, as seen in the charts below. The annual rate of change for income appears to have bottomed and is growing faster each month, even in spite of the artificial increase in incomes at the end of 2012 due to significant tax law changes taking effect in 2013. The trend in system revenue passenger miles shows that the annual rate of change seems to have bottomed out. It looks like there will be accelerating growth in system revenue passenger miles in the first half of 2013 at least. This bodes well for the prospects of aerospace part production. To see more on the trends in aerospace production, go here.
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