LONDON: Europe was the only region to report a fall in advertising expenditure in the first quarter of 2013, while the rest of the world saw either marginal increases or remained flat, according to new figures from Nielsen.

The measurement company's quarterly Global AdView Pulse report revealed that worldwide adspend was up 1.9% in Q1 2013 against the same period a year earlier.

But Europe remained in the doldrums, with expenditure in this region falling 4.4% as its economic difficulties persisted. Nielsen thought it unlikely the region was going to recover any time soon.

Other regions fared better, however, with Latin America the outstanding performer as it recorded growth of 11.9%. Spending increased in all countries although Nielsen cautioned that Argentina, for example, faced particular economic problems of rising unemployment and high inflation.

Asia Pacific also grew strongly, up 5.8%, although several countries far exceeded this regional average. China, Indonesia and the Philippines all registered growth rates of around 20%. Only Japan experienced a decrease in spend, dipping 1.1%.

The Middle East and Africa saw a more modest increase of 2.9%. The region is currently recovering from an early 2012 spending decline. Civil unrest in Egypt, one of the region's largest markets, held back the overall figures as spend there declined by 20%.

North American spending was unchanged.

Warc's most recent Consensus Ad Forecast indicated that global advertising expenditure would grow more slowly in 2013 as a whole than previously thought, at 3.4%, but adspend in the BRIC nations was predicted to increase between two and three times as fast.

Within Europe; Spain, Italy and France were expected to see significant declines, with the UK the only country to record annual growth.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff