The latest European Advertising Business Climate Index, compiled by the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA), reached a figure of +19 in January 2017, a modest increase from the October 2016 level of +16, but significantly up on the +7 registered in July.
EACA noted that the British ad sector especially seems to be on a recovery path after the Brexit vote, as the confidence index rose sharply from +4.1 in October 2016 to +38.7 in January 2017.
Separate data from the AA/Warc Expenditure Report indicate that advertising expenditure is holding up well with third quarter spending up 4.2% to break £5bn, and full-year spending expected to increase 4.4% to top £21bn for the first time.
Around Europe, the German (+48), Croatian (+36) and Swedish (+33) markets also recorded high levels of business confidence in the EACA index which is based on monthly data collected from 43,000 companies for the European Commission.
Following a general growth trend, Belgium, Denmark and Cyprus also demonstrated more confidence rising from +14 to +24, +9 to +24 and -9 to +21, respectively.
Conversely, Italian ad companies recorded a steep fall in confidence in January 2017, with the index at just +1 compared to the +30 recorded in October 2016. This represents one of the lowest business confidence levels in Europe, although it is at least still in positive territory.
Only Greece (-47), Slovakia (-17), Malta (-15) and France (-8) recorded worse figures.
The survey further highlighted the positive demand trend European advertising and marketing companies are experiencing: this stood at +25 in the fourth quarter of 2016, with demand expected to continue rising in the first quarter of this year (+23). Employment trends follow a similar pattern
Regionally, confidence is highest in Northern Europe where companies have the highest expectation of demand for their services (+37), followed by Western (+23) and Central/Eastern (+14) Europe. The Mediterranean region is least optimistic (+2).
Separate data from January's Global Marketing Index, compiled by World Economics, show that trading conditions in the European ad industry are improving at a far faster rate than those in the Americas and Asia-Pacific.
Data sourced from EACA; additional content by Warc staff