NEWS21 October 2011

RII sees ‘continued stagnation’ of US MR business

Financials North America

US— A stale economy is no friend to market researchers, it seems – the latest wave of the US Research Industry Index finds “continued stagnation” of business.

The Marketing Research Association’s quarterly survey of the health of the industry finds minimal or no growth for all key metrics – request for proposals, projects and staffing levels – says chairman Ken Roberts.

Q2 2011’s index score was 96, below tthe previous years’ run of 98, 98, 101 and 100 – which is the baseline level established in 2007.

Roberts said: “The state economy is putting a damper on the profitability of research companies with one third of them reporting decreased margins compared to the previous quarter.

“While this affects firms of all sizes, it has been more substantial among small to medium-size firms. Also, smaller firms (under $1m in revenue) are still hurting in terms of projects and booked revenue, with a net decrease of 4% compared to a net increase of the same amount among medium-sized and larger firms.”