NEW DELHI: Advertising revenue levels in India will only enjoy moderate growth this year, but the country will still be one of the key drivers of global expansion in 2010, GroupM has said.

The company has predicted that total adspend in the Asian nation will rise by just 1% in 2009, to $4.9 billion (€3.3bn; £2.9bn), excluding one-off expenditure linked to the general election held in April and May.

This marks a downward revision from the improvement of 3% that WPP Group's media umbrella forecast earlier this year.

More positively, the organisation expects that the rapidly-developing economy will see total advertising budgets register an uptick of 6% in 2010, to a value of $5.2bn overall.

Adam Smith, GroupM Futures Director, argued "India will make a leading contribution to ad recovery in 2010, though less V-shaped than its BRIC counterparts Brazil, Russia and China."

From 2011, he added, India will return to growth in the 13% to 14% range, which is "below its former 16% trend, but still exceptional."

Data sourced from GroupM; additional content by Warc staff