MELBOURNE: Volatile global economic conditions and conservative retail spending will result in lower than expected adspend growth for Australia in 2011.

AdNews reports that Harold Mitchell, chairman of Aegis Media Pacific, could revise down his annual forecast from growth of 6% to the "2-3% range".

Fusion Strategy's Steve Allen has already downgraded his prediction from 7.7% to 2.4% for 2011, and some industry sources have already reported year-on-year declines for adspend in June. Warc's International Ad Forecast predicts that Australian growth will be about 3.6% for 2011.

All the above figures are at current prices in the local currency and are not adjusted for the impact of general inflation.

The more pessimistic Australian forecasts come as the global economic recovery faces disruption from arguments over public debt levels in the Eurozone and the US.

Australia, which avoided recession during the global downturn in 2008 and 2009, has been one of the strongest-performing mature markets of recent years. The country's adspend across all media is forecast to be about AUS$13 billion in 2011.

Speaking to AdNews, Mitchell, who has previously been bullish on the Australian ad industry's growth prospects, said that his forecasts were "under review".

But he added that adspend growth should accelerate during the final four months of 2011.

"Australia, for all sorts of reasonsm should be very confident," he said. "We deserve to be the eighth biggest economy in the world.

Data sourced from Adnews; additional content by Warc staff