Advertising in 2017 has continued the negative trend that developed in 2016. You can see in the numbers, when you remove the seasonality using a moving yearly total, that the advertising industry started declining in January / February 2016. That decline has continued right up to June 2017. We looked back to January 2015 and plotted forward to June 2017, and you can see a pretty clear pattern. 2015 is marked by growth right up until March 2016 when we reached the top of the mountain and started to head back down. With the numbers revealing a steady decline right up to June 2017.
Trinidad & Tobago Moving Yearly Total for Advertising Industry.
If we go back to our previous analysis of 2015’s advertising performance, published in January 2016, when had noted,
“Coming out of a very good summer, positively impacted by a national election, the industry was able to hold onto gains made and extend them through to the end of the year. This growth was achieved in spite of the increasingly pessimistic message coming from the new government on the financial outlook for Trinidad and Tobago.”
Now it seems like those gains that the industry held onto have been surrendered back under the pressure of a weak economy.
You can see this in the monthly year on year growth numbers with the January to June numbers all showing positive growth in 2016 while in 2017 those growth figures are all negative.
Trinidad & Tobago Advertising Industry Percentage Growth of Moving Yearly Total for Advertising Industry
Monthly figures indicate a potential bottoming out of the decline.
Digging further into the data, we compared the monthly performance seen so far in 2017, directly to the same months in 2016. This comparison was made in two ways. First, we looked at a direct comparison and then we looked at the monthly average using the moving yearly total data. The first just looked at the unadjusted performance Month vs. Month. The second analysis uses the Moving Year Monthly Average which takes the total advertising over the previous year and divides it by 12 to get an adjusted monthly average.
Monthly Comparison 2017 vs 2016 Advertising Monthly Total and Moving Yearly Monthly Averages.
This graphs also paints a negative picture. Looking at the moving monthly average, all the months in 2017 showed a negative performance compared to their counterparts in 2016. The trend does give us some optimism as there appears to be the beginning of an upswing in the data, as the year on year gap starts to close. May and June 2017 showed some encouraging improvement and provide the basis for our optimism about the numbers. The final two months of our analysis, when compared on a like for like basis with corresponding months in 2016, actually achieved small positive growth. These positive gains we hope are a significant signal that we have reached the bottom of a pretty sustained negative trend in the industry. And that the advertising industry is going to start to recover some of the growth it surrendered through 2016 and into 2017. The positive growth is also reflected in the moving monthly average, while it remains at negative growth year on year that negative growth gap has started to close. A trend we hope will continue.
Is the improving economic outlook showing up in the advertising industry performance?
There is no way to know the future but, the Moving Year Monthly Average appears to be showing improvements in the data, the direct comparison of a month on month spending showed that the last two months June and May had small positive growth. Could this small upswing be a sign that the advertising industry is starting to pull out of the negative downward trend it has been on? As noted in our January 2016 analysis, the strong growth in the advertising industry was in spite of gloomy economic projections. Today we are seeing some small indications of improving economic conditions as reported on the Focus Economics Website's current assessment of the Trinidad and Tobago’s economy, “As the energy sector better adjusts to lower prices and slowly ramps back up, the economy looks increasingly likely to exit recession this year.” (Focus Economics, July 11, 2017). We hope that this improving outlook for the economy will be reflected in a more positive second half performance of Trinidad and Tobago’s Advertising Industry in 2017.