There is a renewed sense of optimism among newspaper publishers in the United States and Canada who believe they are about to enjoy a better 2011.

They expect digital advertising, plus certain sectors of classified ads, will improve, according to a study by Kubas Consultants.

Its survey of more than 400 daily newspaper executives and managers across north America found expectations of digital ad sales increasing by almost 20%, with retail display growing 4.3%, and motors and employment up by 3.4%.

But national display ad revenues are projected to drop by a further 1.3% and property classified ads likely to fall by 1.7%.

Some 20% of publishers also feel confident enough to make major investments in printing systems.

But a word of warning. The Kubas report notes that in the past executives have tended to be over-optimistic in their digital ad projections.