LONDON: Marketing budget growth was especially strong in Europe in May, but there was also positive growth in the Americas and Asia Pacific, the latest Global Marketing Index (GMI) has shown.

The headline GMI for May registered a score of 53.9, which was slightly lower than its high of 54.4 in April, but still showed marketing budgets are showing growth.

Based on responses from a global panel of 2,000+ members, the WARC Global Marketing Index provides a unique monthly indicator of the state of the worldwide marketing industry and uses a benchmark score of 50 points to show no change.

By this measure, Europe continued to record the strongest activity among the three regions covered in the report and its headline GMI of 59.9 was only slightly down on its record high of 60.6 in April.

The Americas, which has witnessed several months of sluggish activity, also nudged into positive territory with a headline GMI score of 50.2, its second consecutive month of increased marketing activity.

There was positive activity in Asia Pacific too, where its headline GMI for last month rose by 0.5 points to 52.3 to make it the only region to report an increased rate of growth.

Meanwhile, the Index for Global Marketing Budgets remained steady in May at 52.4, only marginally down on April's index score of 52.6. This is encouraging for marketing budgets, which saw a return to positive growth in March after six months of decline.

Europe continued to be the strongest region for marketing budgets' growth, with its index score rising to 57.9, while the index for Asia Pacific rose again to 51.0 – its second month of growth after a prolonged period below the 50.0 mark.

The situation was less positive in the Americas, however, where the region's marketing budgets' index stood at 48.4 in May, the eleventh consecutive month it has been below 50.0.

But all regions recorded positive trading conditions in May, so that the Global Trading Conditions Index came in at 55.6 points.

Digital and mobile continued to attract increased levels of marketing budget share globally, scoring 72.8 and 71.6 respectively in May, although TV (49.6), OOH (49.9), radio (42.2) and press (34.8) all saw their budgets contract.

This trend was fairly consistent across the regions, with the exception of TV in Europe (58.3) and OOH in both Europe (53.7) and Asia Pacific (52.5).

Finally, the Staffing Index registered a global score of 53.9, slightly down on April, but there was particularly strong employment growth in Europe (60.8). Staffing levels also rose in Asia Pacific (51.2) and the Americas (51.0), although at a slower rate.

The Global Marketing Index was set up by WARC and World Economics in 2011. As of April 2017, WARC has taken over the running of the Index from World Economics.

Data sourced from WARC