LONDON: The UK economy is likely to shrink by at least 3.5% this year, returning to marginal growth by the second quarter of 2010 at the earliest, according to predictions from two industry bodies.

Estimates from a variety of forecasters suggest that the UK ad market will be one of the hardest hit by the financial downturn as consumers cut their spending levels and marketers slash budgets.

A report from the CBI now warns the British economy will decline by 3.9% this year, possibly returning to marginal growth by Q2 2010, although any improvement will be "slow and fragile."

Similarly, the Ernst & Young Item Club projects that the country's economy will shrink by 3.5% this year, and a further 0.1% next.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff