The ad columns of the Wall Street Journal, long the bellwether of US business confidence, took a hammering in May according to the paper’s owner Dow Jones & Company.

Continued advertising volatility in the technology and financial-services sectors caused linage for the month to slump by 35.8%, said DJ, warning that June and July were also likely to suffer unfavorable comparisons with last year’s record ad levels. General advertising linage in May fell 39.7%, financial linage dropped 36.1%, while classified and other linage slipped 11.9%.

WSJ’s European edition also reflected the cooling of the ad market, linage falling 33.7% year-on-year and 30.5% on a per-issue basis. There was a similar tale in Asia with that region’s edition recording a fall of 21%

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