Japanese adspend slipped 0.3% last year, according to the nation's leading ad agency group Dentsu.

Japan's ad market -- the world's second largest -- totalled $54 billion (€42bn; £28bn) over 2003. It has now declined for three successive years, though the latest fall is far less severe than the 5.9% slide in 2002.

The damage last year was done in the first half, when adspend in the four major media channels dropped 2.1% year-on-year. The ad market then rose 1.5% in the second half.

Japanese advertising is expected to return to growth this year, with a rise of around 2.3%.

• Separately, Japan reported economic growth of 1.7% in the fourth quarter last year, as exports surged 4.2%. On an annualised basis, this represents a 7% rise in GDP -- the biggest upturn for thirteen years and ahead of America's 4% annualised increase for the same quarter.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff