LONDON: Global optimism among marketers remained high during December as Warc's latest Global Marketing Index (GMI) edged upwards 0.8 points, helped by an improved view of trading conditions in the Americas.

The headline GMI figure, which takes into account marketers' expectations for trading conditions and staffing levels as well as marketing budgets, rose from 57.8 in November's count to 58.6 in December, on a scale where values above 50 indicate a positive trend.

Headline GMI in the Americas increased 1.3 points over the reporting period to reach 58.8, while Europe recorded its highest ever headline index in December, up 0.1 points to 59.1. In Asia Pacific, however, there was a slight dip in confidence as the region's headline GMI slipped 0.6 points to 57.2.

A consideration of the individual elements of the GMI indicated ongoing enthusiasm about trading conditions. The overall index on this metric stood at 62.7, up from 60.9 in November and 57.8 in October.

The greatest increases came in the Americas where a 4.2 point jump to 62.3 came on the back of a comparable 3.7 point rise in November.

Europe, however, continued to be the most optimistic region as regards trading conditions, as a one point rise took the index to 63.0, while there was no change in Asia Pacific on 61.7.

This positive feeling was reflected in the expectations marketers held about budgets, where the global reading on this metric recorded its highest-ever value on 57.3.

European marketers have emerged from a long period of pessimism and are leading the way here, with more of them increasing budgeted spend than at any other time in the past two years. The region's index for marketing budgets increased two points to reach 58.7, ahead of the Americas (56.4) and Asia Pacific (55.2).

The index of staffing levels, the third component of the GMI, showed that employment levels were rising most rapidly in the Americas (57.8), followed by Europe (55.6) and Asia Pacific (54.8).

"The latest GMI data are broadly consistent with last month and indicate improving business conditions for global marketers," commented Suzy Young, Data and Journals Director at Warc.

"It will be interesting to see if the headline GMI remains stable in the first few months of 2014 as we enter the post-holiday season." she added.

Data sourced from Warc