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Newspaper Economist Miles E. Groves: 'I'm Betting on Steady Growth, No Recession' - Forecaster Sticks by Prediction of 5.1% Rise in Ad Revenue

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspaper Economist Miles E. Groves: 'I'm Betting on Steady Growth, No Recession' - Forecaster Sticks by Prediction of 5.1% Rise in Ad Revenue

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Despite mounting media speculation about an economic slump, newspaper economist Miles E. Groves called a recession unlikely and said he was sticking by his prediction of 5.1% in newspaper ad growth this year.

"I'm not betting on a recession. I see no basis -- very, very low probability," said Groves, senior vice president and chief economist of the Barry Group, a Bethesda, Md.-based newspaper- marketing consulting firm. A recession would be more likely in 2002, he said.

"I'm cautiously holding to my 5.1% newspaper ad revenue growth" forecast, said Groves, who also predicted last month that this year national ad revenue would rise 12.1%; classified would climb 5.9%; and retail would inch up 1.9%.

"Clearly we're in a slowdown," said Groves. "I acknowledge that there are [recession] risks out there. I'm not ready to revise my forecast, but I just might." With speculation among politicians and in the media about the risk of recession, he said, "We could talk ourselves into recession whether [economic] principles demand it or not.

"I'm just suggesting that the Fed will respond to that slowdown and get us up," said Groves, who described some media speculation about downturn risks as hype. …

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