"The advertising recovery currently under way means that although spending declined sharply in 2001, conditions are improving a little more rapidly than they did in the last downturn in 1990-1991. Performance in 2003 should be better,” wrote Jim Conaghan NAA Vice President of Business Analysis and Research, in "The Overhang of Uncertainty."
The conservative estimate of a 3.2 percent gain envisions a somewhat weaker consumer marketplace, with linage roughly flat. This scenario forecasts the steam gradually running out of the housing and auto markets and a flat recruitment market, translating into marginal gains in classified advertising. Retail gains would be primarily in preprints, and there would be a slight gain in national advertising.
The high-end estimate of 6.1 percent is driven by a more rapidly improving job market, even though real estate and local automotive advertising may weaken. In this scenario, recruitment advertising returns to positive territory as the economy gets past employment levels prior to the 2001 recession, helping classified bounce back. Retail advertising is less volatile and would post a modest gain. National advertising in a strong economy could be up sharply.
Click here for the Conaghan report.