NEW YORK — Internet advertising revenues reached almost $5.5 billion in the third quarter 2009, an increase of 1.7 percent from the second quarter, according to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).

Despite the quarter-to-quarter increase, the third quarter numbers show a decline of 5.4 percent over the same period in 2008, the study, “IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report 2009 Second-Quarter and First Six Month Results,” said.

“The Internet has transformed the consumer experience of media, providing marketers with unprecedented opportunities to engage with their customers,” said Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB. “The advertising sector overall has been hard hit by the economy, but digital media has been a bright spot within the larger economic downturn as it is capturing an ever-increasing piece of marketers' advertising spend.”

The IAB report includes data concerning online advertising revenues from Websites, commercial online services, free e-mail providers, and all other companies selling online advertising. The full report is issued twice yearly for full and half-year data, and top-line quarterly estimates are issued for the first and third quarters.