Study: Direct Mail Growth Slowing

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Despite a string of healthy annual increases, the growth of direct mail expenditures is expected to slow over the next four years and trail the growth of the gross domestic product, according to a study released today by media merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

The study said annual direct mail spending will grow at a compound rate of 1.8 percent from now to 2006, reaching $50.4 billion. From 1996 to 2001, annual direct mail spending grew from $34.5 billion to $46.2 billion at a compound rate of 6 percent. Direct mail continued to grow in 2001 but slowed because of the anthrax scare, the study said.

"Direct mail will continue to expand during the forecast period but at a slower pace than in the past because of the emergence of e-mail marketing and postal rate hikes, which will force marketers to limit mailings," the study said.

Total U.S. communications spending will rise from $580.5 billion in 2001 to $610 billion this year, it projected.

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