This paper discusses the limited nature of market statistics on market research spend, and describes the development of a model of major economic factors which drive the growth of research spend in the UK. The uses to which this model has been put for forecasting purposes by UK research suppliers is reviewed, and the application of the model concept to other European markets, Japan and the USA is discussed. From the data available it appears that there are considerable similarities in these markets, although they are at different stages of development. Research is compared with advertising and shown to have a stronger pattern of growth in recent years in Europe and the USA. A scenario forecast for research market growth in the three regions is given, based on assumptions of patterns of growth similar to those of the last few years. These show Europe and Japan growing strongly in the early 90s while the USA lags behind.