"It's been a tough two-and-a-half years for our industry, but we do share some cautious optimism for the near future," said Gordon Hughes, President & CEO of American Business Media. "We expect an uptick sometime around September, and we are still comfortable with our projection of 3% growth in ad spending for the year. We're also estimating single-digit growth in early 2004."
Five of the 12 categories showed improvement in ad spending in May compared to the same period the year before. Horticulture & Farming was up 94.1%; Automotive up 25.8%; Retail up 21.0%; Services, Direct Response & Classified up 10.6%; and Home & Building up 2.8%. The other categories were down: Travel by 32.1%; Telecommunications by 32.0%; Computers by 14.8%; Software by 14.4%; Finance, Business & Advertising by 4.7%; Drugs & Toiletries by 3.4%; and Manufacturing & Electrical Equipment, Materials & Components by 1.6%.
Four categories saw an increase in ad pages in May compared to the same period last year. Horticulture & Farming was up 40.1%; Automotive was up 19.3%; Retail was up 8.5%; and Services, Direct Response & Classified up 3.3%. The remaining categories were down: Telecommunications by 35.4%; Travel by 27.3%; Software by 21.5%; Computers by 14.3%; Drugs & Toiletries by 10.5%; Finance, Business & Advertising by 8.5%; Manufacturing by 7.9%; and Home & Building by 2.7%.