NEW YORK: The latest Audit Bureau of Circulations report brings ill tidings for America's magazine industry – a slide in newsstand sales of 6.3% during the first half of 2008.

The plunge is attrubuted to the increasingly familiar "rising gas and food costs" that caused consumers to cut back on nonessential expenditure.

Of the ten top-selling titles among the 467 reporting  results, only entertainment news magazine People and In Style notched gains. The other big hitters – Cosmopolitan and O, The Oprah Magazine – veered sharply south, respectively by 6% and 17%.

In Touch Weekly, US Weekly and Woman's World also posted double-digit declines.

According to the ABC, aggregated subscription and newsstand sales in H1 were flat at 349.9 million copies, with paid subscriptions inching higher to 290.2m copies,

Over the six-month period to June 30, single-copy magazine sales slid down the greasy pole from 47.1m to 44.1m year-on-year.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff