Marketing budgets continued to grow in the last three months of 2022, despite high levels of pessimism as marketers face a recessionary 2023, finds the latest IPA Bellwether report. A modest net balance of 2.2% of firms increased their total marketing spending in the fourth quarter of 2022. Around one fifth (20.2%) of the 300 marketers surveyed reported an upward revision in their marketing budgets, while 18% made cuts. This marked the seventh consecutive quarter of budget growth. Almost four in 10 (39.5%) of the firms surveyed expect marketing budgets to be higher in the 2023/24 financial year, with just 15.3% expecting spending cuts.This means a strong positive net balance - 24.2% expect marketing budgets to grow this year, suggesting firms are protecting spend despite economic concerns. Unlike the previous quarter, the last three months of 2022 saw a net balance of 4.4% of companies increase main media spend. The third quarter had seen a net balance of -3.1% make cuts in the category, including spend on TV, radio, out of home and online. Events was the only category outside of main media to grow during the quarter, as post-pandemic demand for in-person experiences continued. It recorded a positive net balance of 5.7% in the quarter.