Newspaper ad spending climbed 6.3% in 1998, hitting $43.9 billion, according to preliminary estimates from the Newspaper Association of America, Vienna, Va. ``The 6.3% growth represents real improvement in an economy where inflation continues to run below 2%,'' said Miles Groves, NAA VP-market and business analysis and chief economist. ``When coupled with estimates for circulation spending, total core spending rose [nearly 5.9%] to $54 billion in 1998. Our current forecast for 1999 will make us a $56 billion industry.'' Retail ad spending in 1998 rose 5.7% to $20.3 billion; classified was up 6.6% to $17.9 billion; and national was up 7.7% to $5.7 billion.
Copyright March 1999, Crain Communications Inc.