Some signs of economic moderation


According to one report, local television advertising is starting to show signs of life, in part because price reductions are making it a more attractive option. And the Conference Board thinks bad vibes on the employment side of the equation may be showing signs of stabilization.

Some observers think they see signs that a pair of key but highly damaged categories are starting to, or will soon, start to bounce back, according to Media Life Magazine. One of these is financial services sector, which has begun to rebound somewhat from the massive troubles that hit last fall.

The other is automotive. The moves to get leaner and meaner in that sector are more recent than in finance, but once they’ve had some time to get their breath back and to establish a firmer footing, they will have to advertise. And even if leaner and meaner means a leaner and meaner schedule, it will still likely be better than prior schedules they’ll be comping with.

However, local TV is expected to derive the greatest benefit from increased spending both in these categories and in others. The recovery for radio, newspaper and magazine is expected further down the road, if at all.
Meanwhile, the Conference Board is reporting a slight uptick in its employment trends index, from 89.7 in April to 89.9 in May. “While it is too early to say that the ETI has bottomed, the moderation of the last two months is certainly a sign that the decline in job losses is real and signals that the worst is over,” said Gad Levanon, Senior Economist at The Conference Board. “However, as the economic recovery over the coming months is likely to be very slow, we still expect the unemployment rate to continue to increase to double digits by the end of this year and into 2010.”

RBR/TVBR observation: It will take employed people to buy new cars, and it will take advertising to teach them what new cars are out there. While we still are not seeing any earth-shaking events that indicate economic woes are over, there are more and more small signs that we’re at least starting to move in the right direction.