Merrill Lynch hints better times ahead

Merrill Lynch hints better times ahead

Advertising spend could increase by four per cent in the key US markets next year, according to forecasts from investment bank Merrill Lynch.

Strong growth in the powerhouse of the global advertising economy will be matched by three per cent growth in worldwide spend, it says.

The figures will bring welcome relief to the media market, after a year in which the US market increased by 0.7% and global spend dropped by 1.1%.

The optimistic forecast follows a survey of 17 major US advertisers, accounting for 55% of total US ad spend. Of these key clients, 70% plan to increase their budget next year, with just 12% planning to make cutbacks.

Better times in the US could also herald a loosening of purse strings elsewhere, given that budgets at many multinational companies are determined by US-based headquarters.

In the household products market, home to Gillette and  Procter & Gamble, growth is expected to be spectacular, with rises ranging from high-single to low-double-digit growth.

Entertainment companies are also likely to be bigger spenders, with double-digit increases.

In the car market, new models are expected to spark an increase of two to three per cent in spending as Ford and DaimlerChrysler establish new offerings.

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