Washington - For the second straight year, the Research Industry Index (RII) – the Marketing Research Association's indicator of business activity in the U.S. marketing research industry – saw a significant drop in the first quarter, then gradual improvement, almost reaching the 100 point mark by the fourth quarter.  Both years finished at 98.

Ken Roberts, PRC, MRA’s Immediate Past Chairman and author of the report states, "While this shows the resilience of the industry, we clearly continue to face hurdles brought on by the current economic turmoil."  He also noted that "improvements are generally seen across firms of all sizes with the larger firms seeing the most improvement."

Both corporate researchers and research firms remain reluctant to increase staffing, which has remained virtually flat since the end of 2009.

RII is a composite score based on reported changes in multiple key business metrics (RFPs, projects and staffing levels), as well as changes in business owners’ perceptions of the health of their business. The base period (Index = 100) is the fourth quarter of 2007. This wave of the RII is based on online interviews that were conducted among 296 senior executives from both corporate researchers and marketing research firms via a survey hosted by Synapse. Reporting was completed by Cooper Roberts Research for the Marketing Research Association (MRA).

For more information, visit http://www.insightsassocation.org/stay-informed/research-industry-index

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Founded in 1957 and based in Washington, DC, the Marketing Research Association is the leading and largest association of the opinion and marketing research profession, which delivers insights and intelligence to guide the decisions of companies providing products and services to consumers and businesses.