Bellwether Report

Financial prospects at 18-month high

Marketers have reported a slight turnaround in confidence about the financial prospects of their industries in the past three months but remain cautious, according to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) Bellwether Confidence Index.

The data, which is exclusive to Marketing Week, shows an increase in optimism since the second quarter with the difference between the optimists and pessimists at its lowest level since early 2005.

The findings suggest the turnaround is being driven by a reduction in oil and energy prices from their peak in the second quarter of the year, increases in corporate profitability and continued growth in consumer demand.

Marketers are more upbeat about the financial prospects of their industries, with those predicting an overall decline in prospects weakening significantly since the previous quarter to a record low of 8%.

Despite the lift in confidence, just 18% of companies reported that their industry’s financial prospects had improved on the previous three months while 26% say the situation has deteriorated.

But marketers are most confident about the financial prospects of their own companies, with 45% of those surveyed saying that their prospects have improved since the second quarter of 2006 compared with 22% reporting a worsening situation.

The Q3 Bellwether report, conducted by NTC Economics, asked the panel an additional question about the prospects of their own company and industry as a whole. The panel comprises 250 UK marketing professionals, structured according to GDP.

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