LONDON/WASHINGTON: Marketing budgets have increased for the first time in more than six months at the worldwide level, according to Warc's latest Global Marketing Index.

The Global Marketing Index, which draws on data from a panel of 1,225 executives, revealed that the monthly index for global marketing budgets stood at 50.4 points in January, on a scale where scores over 50 points indicated a positive trend.

As well as constituting the first growth witnessed on this measure since May 2012, this result marked only the fourth such expansion during the last 16 months.

The Americas enjoyed an increase from 50.2 points to 53.9 points in January month on month. Budgets, however, were being trimmed in Asia Pacific, on 48.1 points, and Europe, on 46.2 points.

"Positive budget setting in the Americas has lifted the index for global marketing budgets into growth territory for the first time since May," said Suzy Young, Warc's data editor, said.

"But despite an improving outlook in terms of general trading conditions, marketers in Asia Pacific and Europe continue to scale back their budgets."

When discussing the allocation of budgets by channel, expenditure climbed for digital, excluding mobile, on 75 points, and for mobile itself on 69.9 points.

Turning to traditional media, television posted 47.7 points, out of home recorded 46.5 points, radio was on 39.9 points and press lagged behind with 35.9 points.

Elsewhere, the index for trading conditions rose by 0.8 points in January to 57.9 points. Asia Pacific, on 57.8 points, and Europe, on 55.4 points, both saw monthly gains. By contrast, the Americas was down by 1.8 points, but still logged a robust 59.3 points.

The totals for staffing levels also yielded a major improvement to 56.7 points, as the Americas returned 61 points, Asia Pacific delivered 55.6 points and Europe generated 54 points.

Overall, the headline GMI, combining the scores for marketing budgets, staffing levels and trading conditions, hit 55 points, a 2.5 point increase from December, and also the best result since May 2012.

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Data sourced from Warc