Spending on travel and entertainment rebounded quickly in the second quarter, and it wasn’t just consumers making the purchases, according to the latest results from American Express. The company said consumer spending in the category topped pre-Covid pandemic levels for the first time in April. In particular, there was also a significant increase in business travel. The results were good enough for AmEx to raise its earnings forecast, and the company’s shares jumped more than 5% on the news. AmEx expects revenue to grow between 23% and 25% this year, up from a previous forecast of 18% to 20%. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv called for 19% revenue growth this year. The company’s profit forecast is still the same. AmEx expects to post a profit of $9.25 to $9.65 per share, which is below the $9.83 per share analysts expected. The results are another example of the conflicting headlines investors see when weighing the likelihood of a recession. Decades of high inflation are forcing the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to cool the economy. At the same time, pent-up consumer demand, especially for experiences such as travel, concerts and other entertainment, has many people using freely. In the most recent quarter, AmEx said overall card spending rose 30% on a currency-neutral basis thanks to a combination of robust demand and, of course, rising prices for so many goods and services these days. Spending by millennials and Gen Z consumers was particularly robust, jumping nearly 50%, the company said. In the second quarter, AmEx earned $1.96 billion, or $2.57 per share, on revenue of $13.4 billion. That compared with average earnings estimates of $2.41 per share on revenue of $12.5 billion from Refinitiv. Revenues increased by 31 per cent from the previous year. AmEx earned $2.28 billion, or $2.80 per share, in the second quarter of 2021. AmEx’s performance was weighed down by the need to add $410 million as a provision for credit losses. Last year, it recorded a benefit of $606 million. Consumers also cashed in the rewards points they earned to stretch their dollar further. That increased spending by nearly a third to $10.4 billion. During an earnings call, AmEx CEO Stephen Squeri said, “We don’t see demand in the T&E categories slowing significantly anytime soon, based on the strength of future bookings coming through our consumer travel agency and the trends our travel industry partners are experiencing at Delta, particularly in premium the area.” According to Squeri, low unemployment makes a difference. “We still see no significant signs of stress in our consumer base,” he said. Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Campbell said business travel showed a significant acceleration in growth during the quarter. “This is a sign of a more meaningful recovery in business travel,” he said.