The pace of decline in marketing spending has slowed for the second consecutive quarter as business prospects have turned positive for the first time since Q1 2008, according to a new report.

IPA’s Bellwether survey found that spending fell across all marketing categories between April and the end of June.

However, while the rate of decline remains "severe", it has slowed and there are signs that it could be over the worst as businesses become increasingly confident in their outlook, the study said.

One in three companies questioned said their financial prospects had improved during the second quarter of the year, while one in four reported a further deterioration in conditions.

IPA vice-president Rory Sutherland said: "To anyone optimistically included, the April Bellwether seemed to signal the bottom of the market and the new report suggests the worst is over."

Shar VanBoskirk recently wrote on the Forrester Research blog that overall advertising budgets are set to decline as firms move away from traditional spending towards "more efficient interactive tools" such as search engine marketing and pay per click services.

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