New York--The May Business Information Network report, released Wednesday, showed that ad pages fell 24% compared with same month last year while ad spending dropped 29%, with significant declines in nearly every category. The categories posting the biggest declines were: finance, business and advertising, down 40%; telecommunications, down 34%; services, direct response and classified, down 31%; and software, down 28%. The sole category to show gains was horticulture and farming, up 2% in May compared with May 2000. The numbers continue to reflect the softness in the economy and the anemic ad market. Gordon Hughes, president-CEO of the American Business Media, said the dismal numbers were expected. "Right now, we are in the eye of the hurricane," he said. "We don't look for any improvement until the fourth quarter this year."