LONDON: Marketers are showing continuing confidence in the state of the industry, with Warc's monthly headline Global Marketing Index remaining steady in May and that for marketing budgets reaching a new high.

The headline Global Marketing Index (GMI) reading, which combines trends observed in trading conditions and staffing levels as well as marketing budgets, stood at 56.5 in May, on a scale where values above 50 indicate a positive trend.

Regionally, the Americas continued to have the most positive outlook, with an index value of 58.6, with Asia-Pacific not far behind on 56.7, having shown another month of improvement. Europe, however, fell back from 55.1 in April to 53.2 in May.

The global index of marketing budgets rose for the fifth consecutive month to reach 54.3, its highest value since the index began in October 2011.

In the Americas, the index for marketing budgets reached 58.0, the highest regional figure for marketing budgets recorded so far. Asia Pacific's index also increased, to 53.8. Europe, on the other hand, slipped back below 50 to 49.7.

The less optimistic European figures come on the back of recent adspend data showing that the Italian and French markets have both had a difficult first quarter.

Italian adspend
dropped 19% year on year, with leading businesses anticipating this trend would continue at a slower pace in the second quarter. Only internet and outdoor advertising showed any growth.

And in France, adspend was down 9% with all media in decline. IREP, the trade body, expects the full year to record a fall of between 3% and 4%.

Of the other constituents of the GMI, the index of global trading conditions again performed strongly in May, registering a value of 59.1, while the index of staffing levels was also positive, at 56.0.

Suzy Young, Data and Journals Director at Warc, said: "Global marketing budgets have been raised for a fifth consecutive month but, while budgets show growth in all global regions, European marketers are slightly less optimistic than they were in April. It will be interesting to see whether this trend continues next month."

Data sourced from Warc