Moderate growth of 4.4 percent is expected to push global advertising spending to $547 billion in 2017. Media investment group GroupM points to economic factors across the globe for its forecast of another year of modest growth in advertising as brands continue to be pressured for performance in low-growth environments. It notes that while the U.S presidential election and the UK’s referendum on departing the European Union have not impacted advertising budgets, and China and other “new world” countries continue to over-contribute to global growth, a new normal of more modest growth has settled in.

Digital advertising continues to be the chief beneficiary of growth and GroupM expects it to claim 33 percent of 2017’s advertising spending. In 2016, digital captured 72 cents of every new ad dollar and TV received 21 cents. In 2017, digital will capture 77 cents per new dollar while TV will get 17 cents. The U.S. and China account for half of all net growth in 2016 and 2017, with China taking back a narrow lead over the U.S.

GroupM has upgraded its earlier estimates for U.S. advertising growth in 2016 from 3.1 percent to 3.2 percent. For 2017, GroupM shaves growth to 2.6 percent due to weak global and U.S. GDP growth, and political uncertainty, which as yet has not impacted budgets.

“Ad growth has shadowed the global economy's long, low and level recovery cycle since 2010,” says GroupM Futures Director Adam Smith. “These new forecasts emphasize the ad story of our times is structural, not cyclical. Twenty years on from the internet becoming a measured ad medium, digital remains the engine of advertising growth and disruptor-in-chief of the entire marketing economy. This multiplies options, opportunities and risk. The importance to advertisers of autonomy and diligence has never been higher.”