In the wake of a champagne fourth quarter, the US Radio Advertising Bureau reports continued growth in January 2003 – up six percent year-on-year.

The data, published Monday, shows national advertising as the prime source of growth, gaining 20% on January 2002; while local radio fared less well with just +3%.

While the industry waits to see if February maintains the upward momentum, there is increasing uncertainty about the prospects for March and further ahead – the uncertainty posed by the Bush administration’s rush to war.

Comments RAB president Gary Fries: “While the geopolitical climate has created an uncertain environment, radio’s base in the local marketplace, its broad spectrum of advertising categories and its ability to react quickly have positioned the medium well for continued acceleration.”

Less biased observers are equally bullish, among them Merrill Lynch which predicts a gain of 7.5% for Q1; while S G Cowen Securities analyst James Marsh foresees an 8%-9% increase.

Data sourced from: (USA); additional content by WARC staff