In its annual mid-year forecasting ritual, London-headquartered media network ZenithOptimedia this week dusted down its crystal ball to see what the remainder of 2004 holds for the advertising and media industries.

And, lo, amid a background of reverential murmurings the swirling mists within the magic ball eventually cleared to reveal a vision of mucho dollars.

Revising its earlier forecast of a 4.7% worldwide gain in advertising expenditure across 2004, ZO now sees a rise of 5.7% to $359.5 billion (€290.46bn; £193.74bn).

For the USA, the world's largest advertising market, ZO has upped its December prediction of a 5.1% gain to 5.7%. While for Europe the media shop sees its 2004 growth estimate rising from 3.7% to 4.2%.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff