BRUSSELS: Business confidence levels in the European advertising and marketing industry are getting stronger, despite the continent's economic uncertainties, new data show.
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