Merrill Lynch: U.S. ad spending to increase 2.9% this year

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New York—U.S. advertising is expected to increase 2.9% this year (2.7%, excluding direct mail), which trails projected nominal GDP growth of 4.5%, according to Merrill Lynch’s Advertising & Publishing Monthly Industry Overview.

Merrill Lynch said the latest forecast is fairly consistent with its early December estimate of a 2.6% increase.

Along with industry prognosticators Universal McCann and ZenithOptimedia, Merrill Lynch agreed overseas ad growth will be better than U.S. growth, and that online spending will remain robust.

—Carol Krol

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