KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian adspend rose by 16% last year, with all major media channels returning solid increases, Nielsen has said.

According to new data from the research firm, traditional media took a 37.7% share of total spend for the year, and expanded by 18.2% from 2009. Newspapers rose 14.2%, taking a share of 50.8%.

While in-store and online had the quickest year-on-year growth rates, at 43.2% and 28.9% respectively, they retain a relatively low combined share of just 2.3%.

Sharp adspend growth reflects the Asia Pacific region's impressive economic performance in recent years, which has led to the rise of an increasingly affluent middle class.

Separate Nielsen figures also show that Malaysian consumer confidence was the highest of all the international markets it measures in Q4 2010.

Danyal Abdul Malik, a managing director at the research firm, said: "With the jump in consumer confidence last year, advertisers joined in the race to capture opportunities that came from improved consumer sentiment.

"Large-scale events such as the World Cup, promotion for local festivals and aggressive product promotions also boosted advertising spend and led to a strong finish for the year."

Overall Malaysian adspend for 2010 reached RM7.7bn ($2.5bn; €1.8bn).

Latest Warc forecasts suggest that adspend in the Asia Pacific region as a whole should grow by 8.4% in 2011, and 8.4% in 2010.

The IMF forecasts GDP growth for the ASEAN-5 nations - Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam - of 5.4% for 2011, down from 6.6% last year.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff