LONDON: Marketing budgets in the UK have been revised sharply upwards in the second quarter of 2013 as business confidence soars, according to new data.

The latest IPA Bellwether survey, which features data drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals and provides a key indicator of the health of the economy, found a net balance of +7.3% for the quarter. This represented the difference between companies increasing their marketing budgets and those trimming them and was the highest such score since Q3 2007.

For the year as a whole, the net balance was +13.5%, the most positive forecast in two years.

The news follows the recent Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report which noted that adspend had increased 2.4% in the first quarter as the sector's recovery continued, with a 2.6% rise anticipated for the full year.

In addition, companies were at their most upbeat since Q3 2009, registering a net balance of +27.6% on their financial prospects, a sharp improvement on Q1's +16.8%.

Companies were "taking an increasingly aggressive stance with regard to boosting their marketing expenditure", noted Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit and author of the report.

This was, he said, a reflection of "their views on financial prospects having improved dramatically over the course of the year to date".

Most marketing categories showed an increase in budgets for the quarter, the most important being the internet sector, where a net balance of +17.4% was a marked improvement on the first quarter figure of +8.9%.

This was followed by PR, a recent addition to the survey, with a net balance of +3.4%, the highest in three quarters of data collection.

Sales promotion recorded a figure of +2.0%, main media advertising +1.9% and direct marketing +0.6%.

Market research budgets were unchanged, while there were falls in events and 'other', of -0.9% and -3.2% respectively.

Discussing the overall figures, Paul Bainsfair, IPA general director, said: "These figures should send a very upbeat message to the wider economy".

And Williamson added that the official growth forecast for the economy in 2013 of +0.6% was "all of a sudden starting to look overly pessimistic".

Data sourced from IPA; additional content by Warc staff