LONDON/WASHINGTON: Marketing budgets are in flux around the world, as negativity in Europe offsets favourable trends in the Americas and Asia Pacific, according to Warc's latest Global Marketing Index.

Based on data from a panel of 1,225 executives, the reading for marketing budgets hit 48.8 points in October, on a scale where 50 points reflects a neutral environment, and scores above this benchmark indicated an improvement. (A full report is available to Warc subscribers here.)

At the regional levels, totals proved positive in The Americas, coming in at 53.8 points. Figures also rebounded after two more difficult months in Asia Pacific, to exactly 51 points.

By contrast, the climate in Europe remained highly depressed on 44.1 points, not least because of the challenging fiscal outlook facing much of the continent.

Since the global marketing index was launched in October 2011, budgets have improved in just three out of the 13 months monitored.

By media, digital channels, excluding mobile, posted 71.1 points, indicative of high levels of growth. Mobile also remains strong, posting 65.6 points in October.

"Digital and mobile channels continue to attract an increasing share of global marketing budgets at the expense of the traditional media," the study argued.

When asked to assess current trading conditions, another core element of the GMI, ratings stayed largely static on 54.7 points, with all regions proving relatively resilient on this metric.

Elsewhere, the index of staffing levels came in at 53.4 points, the lowest reading on record, and a drop of 2.7 points from September. Europe and Asia Pacific both saw declines, and the Americas was flat.

Upon combining the figures from all of these three indices, the headline GMI stood at 52.3 points, compared with 52.9 points in September and 52.4 points in August.

In seeming confirmation of the negative trend in Europe, the latest Bellwether Report from the IPA, the advertising trade body, found that the number of UK firms cutting marketing budgets in Q3 2012 was 5.5% higher than the number which increased them.

Data sourced from Warc