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by Matt Alderton | November 24, 2015
The cost of business travel is expected to rise in 2016 due to "modest" increases in air, hotel, and ground transportation prices, predicts American Express Global Business Travel, which yesterday released its 12th annual "Business Travel Forecast."

According to the forecast, North America can expect "minimal" airfare increases of 0.4 percent to 2.4 percent for short-haul business class fares, 0.4 percent to 2.9 percent for long-haul business class fares, and 0.7 percent to 2.7 percent for long-haul economy fares. Short-haul economy fares, meanwhile, could decline by as much as 1.5 percent, or increase by up to 1.1 percent.

At North American hotels, increased demand and higher group travel are expected to drive "strong" rate increases, according to American Express, which predicts rate increases of 3.8 percent to 6 percent at mid-range hotels and 4.2 percent to 6.3 percent at upper-range hotels.

Finally, American Express forecasts "limited growth" for the ground transportation market, which will keep car rental rates mostly flat.

Elsewhere in the world: Asia-Pacific and Europe can expect moderate price gains, according to American Express, while Latin America can expect a mixed picture, with falling airfares and rising hotel rates.