The year-end will see a 3.2% increase in global advertising expenditure to $154.5 billion (€137.17bn; £96.49bn) , driven by spending growth in the North American auto, banking and retailing sectors.

So predicts Publicis-owned media network ZenithOptimedia, which upgraded its earlier forecasts following a US upswing of 6% in July. “We are seeing a surge in advertisers going into the local marketplace,” says the shop, noting that US adspend rose 6% per cent in July following two quarters of flat growth.

The agency also foresees marginal rises in European expenditure, the continent’s ad economy recovering after marked declines in the past twelve months. Europe will end 2003 with an aggregated rise of 2.1% to $78.3 billion – the sole exception being Italy which Zenith expects to remain in the doldrums.

The way out of the European morass was led by Germany, where “advertising recovered strongly in April, May and June. July at plus 9.7% was the best month since November 2000.” But Zenith cautioned that Germany’s recovery – at 1.5% the largest in the region’s five major markets – could be short-lived.

Spending in UK print media had been slow with no real growth in sight. This reflected a 14% slump in national press financial advertising plus a 5% decline in retail and auto spending. However, the gloom was illumined by a sharp rise in outdoor advertising which could propel the ailing sector to a marginal across-the-board increase of 0.5% for the full year.

There are also twitches of revival in the Japanese advertising market, which notched a Q1 spending increase of 0.8% before relapsing in the second quarter. This was due partly to the SARS crisis and last year’s World Cup boost. Q3, however, is expected to show a 1.2% rise, tipping the year as a whole into growth of around 0.8% - or $33.8 billion in folding money.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff