Imbalances between sectors appeared to have stabilised, with some media particularly buoyant, and more than 50% of those surveyed registering better business conditions.
Sectors exhibiting particular optimism included door-to-door, e-mail marketing, field marketing, inserts, mailing houses and financial services.
Forty five per cent of respondents claimed new business was up. This compared favourably with the previous quarter, when 26% of the industry reported a rise in new business.
But not everything was as positive, with 31% of respondents saying they had taken on less business compared with the second quarter.
When asked whether business was better than 12 months previously, only 33% of companies agreed that it had improved - a 9% drop on the previous quarter.
"There are many positive aspects to be taken from this survey and the industry should remain hopeful that the current economic conditions will improve in 2004," said Simon Davis, the DMA's Business-to-Business Committee member.
The majority of the DM industry is enthusiastic about its future, with 72% predicting business will be better in three months' time and just 3% expecting it to be worse.