Another sign of the leveling off of the economy: ad forecaster Magna Research has upgraded its projection for ad spending next, calling for a 1.3% decline. That compares to an earlier forecast of 2.1%.

The contrast to this year’s performance is stark. In the first and second quarter, ad spending declined 18%, Magna has reported. The fourth quarter should be down 9% versus prior year.

Marketers will spend $4.3 billion less on marketing in the last three months of the year. That is almost all pure profit and speaks to the tremendous challenges media companies have faced in this economic decline.

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Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) — U.S. advertising spending may fall
1.3 percent next year, less than previously forecast, as the
economy and industrial production improve, according to research
firm Magna Global.
In the fourth quarter, U.S. media companies will see a 9
percent drop in advertising sales to $43.2 billion from $47.5
billion in the year-ago period, Magna said. The decline will
abate after a 13 percent drop in the third quarter and a 18
percent decrease in each of the first and second quarters.
The first half marked the bottom of the media industry’s ad
slump, Magna said. The categories of online paid search and
video were “pockets of growth,” it said.