More on Publications as a way to gauge the economy.

As I mentioned the other day, I look to publications launched and shuttered, as well as advertising, as my indicator of how strong the economy is.

As you can see from the numbers I was just emailed below print ad revenue is way up from last year, but flat from last month.

April Magazine Ad Revenue up 6.5%, Pages Dip
New York, NY (May 6, 2004) Total magazine advertising reported rate card revenue for the month of April 2004 increased 6.8%, compared to April of last year, closing at $ 1,724,173,534, according to Publishers Information Bureau ( Web Site Related Articles Google) (PIB). Ad pages totaled 19,385.1, closing at -0.5% over April 2003. Year-to-date, rate card revenue closed at $5,794,812,762, an increase of 6.5%, with ad pages showing a 1.7% decline at 67,749.64 versus last year.

“The Financial, Insurance & Real Estate category showed gains for the second consecutive month, supported by banking, insurance and credit card advertisers,” remarked Ellen Oppenheim, Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer, Magazine Publishers of America ( Web Site Related Articles Google). “The Food & Food Products category also saw a significant boost in activity, driven in part by advertising aimed at the health- and diet-conscious consumers.”

April 2004 vs 2003
Half of the 12 major advertising categories recorded both page and dollar increases in April. Food & Food Products and Financial, Insurance & Real Estate were the top gainers, with pages up 19.9% and 19% respectively. Automotive Technology and Direct Response recorded a slight uptick in pages as well. (Twelve categories are the most significant contributors to PIB revenue, comprising approximately 85% of total advertising spending.)

Jan – April 2004 vs 2003
Year-to-date, five of the 12 major advertising categories saw an increase in both pages and revenues over April 2003. The strongest performers have been Financial, Insurance & Real Estate; Food & Food Products; and Toiletries & Cosmetics.

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