GLOBAL: Global advertising expenditure will grow 4.4% in 2016 to reach $548.2bn, a new forecast says, boosted by major sporting events and the US presidential election,

Carat, the media agency network, updated its earlier March forecasts, based on data received from 59 markets across the Americas, Asia Pacific and EMEA, and while the top line figure remained broadly the same – only marginally down from 4.5% growth for the year – several markets were expected to perform significantly better than previously anticipated.

These included Russia, where 6.2% growth for 2016 is now projected compared to an earlier figure of 0.6%, and central and eastern Europe (4.7% v 2.2%). Australia, too, is slated to grow more than twice as fast as Carat had thought before, at 5.4% against 2.5%.

But these are small markets when set against the US, which Carat now thinks will grow at 5.0% this year rather than 4.7%. The US presidential elections alone are expected to generate $7.5bn of incremental spend, it noted.

Last month, Warc said that the value of the US advertising market was set to grow this year at its fastest rate since 2010, with adspend increasing 5.8% to a record-high of $178bn.

Elsewhere, despite a slight moderation following the EU referendum, the UK will remain the largest advertising market in Western Europe, with growth of 5.4% expected in 2016, exceeding the average rate of 2.9% in the region.

Forecasts remained strong in Latin America and Asia Pacific, with 10% and 3.9% growth respectively in 2016, this in spite of Brazil's lower expectations and China's adjustments to its 'new normal' economic landscape.

Carat expected that this positive momentum would carry into 2017, with the continuing surge of digital media spending driving global adspend to $570.4bn.

Digital media is the leading media type in 13 of the markets analysed, it noted, and is growing at double-digit levels – 15.6% in 2016 and 13.6% in 2017 – with especially high demand in mobile, online video and social media.

Accordingly, digital media spend is expected to reach 27.7% share of total global media spend in 2016, increasing to a predicted 30.2% in 2017.

TV's 41.1% share of spending in 2016 was achieved in part by the number of high-interest media events noted earlier and this will ease to 40.3% in 2017.

Carat reconfirmed 2016 growth for cinema (4.5%), radio (2.4%) and out of home (3.5%), while print (-5.5%) continued to decline.

Data sourced from Carat; additional content by Warc staff