LONDON: Worldwide advertising expenditure rose by 3.2% in 2012, with all regions except Europe reporting growth, according to Nielsen's latest Global AdView Pulse.

The measurement company's quarterly report showed that global adspend reached $557bn for the year, thanks in large part to a strong third quarter, which registered growth of 4.3% year on year, before falling back to 2.5% in the final quarter.

That dip was a consequence of Europe's faltering performance, as spending dropped 5.3% in the fourth quarter. The region's biggest ad markets of Germany and the UK fared poorly, with the former recording a 1% decrease and the latter logging a mere 0.8% increase.

For the year as a whole European adspend was down by 4.2%, while that in the UK slipped 1.6%.

The fastest-growing region was the Middle East and Africa, which, thanks to a more stable economy, saw a 14.6% lift. Egypt, in particular, helped drive this turnaround, as advertising expenditure rose 20.4%.

Following an impressive 2011, when adspend rose 11.5%, Asia Pacific reported a much more modest rate of growth in 2012, at 2.8%. Ad revenues in China, the largest market in the region, increased by only 1.9%.

North America is the world's largest in terms of total advertising expenditure, and saw above-average growth for both the fourth quarter, at 3.1%, and the year overall, at 4.6%.

Warc's International Ad Forecast has predicted global advertising spend will increase by 3% in 2013, although this is expected to pick up the following year to around 5.4%.

Russia, Brazil and China are expected to see the biggest upturns this year, but Europe will continue to struggle.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff