Global Ad Consensus Continues Downward Revision For 2019

With a third major agency holding company -- Publicis Media's Zenith unit -- revising its 2019 global ad spending forecast downward, the consensus among them projects the world's ad economy will expand 3.9% this year, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a 4.0% consensus based on their individual estimates earlier this year.

In his update, Zenith Head of Forecasting Jonathan Barnard explains the 2019 is due partly to an upward revision for its 2018 estimate, creating a tougher comparison for 2019 ad growth.

"2018 now provides a much tougher comparison, after we upgraded our estimate of growth that year from 5.9% last time to 6.4%," Barnard writes in the new report, adding, "We expect advertising expenditure to grow behind the global economy as a whole in 2019-2021, after it outpaced it in 2018."

Historically, ad spending lags global and domestic economic cycles, expanding slower coming out of downturns, but contracting slower going into them. After rising faster than the global economy in 2018, Zenith now projects worldwide ad spending will lag economic growth at least through 2021.

The outlook for the U.S. ad economy is much stronger and Zenith notes the U.S. will account for 39% more of the world's advertising expansion between 2018 and 2021 than the next nine biggest contributing nations combined.

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