LONDON: Marketing activity growth declined in Europe and the Americas in December, bringing the latest headline Global Marketing Index (GMI) down 1.4 on its value in November, although this was partly offset by gains made in Asia-Pacific.

The Global Marketing Index, compiled by World Economics, provides a unique monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry because it tracks current conditions among marketers and their expectations in the three key areas of trading conditions, marketing budgets and staffing levels.

The headline GMI for December registered a value of 55.1, down from 56.5 last month, but all three regions remained in positive territory where a reading of 50 indicates no change.

Europe recorded 56.3, down 1.8 from its November reading of 58.1, which was still a good performance although it was another monthly fall from its peak of 60.2 in September.

The Americas recorded 53.2, down a more steep 2.7 from the 55.9 value the region reported in November. But Asia-Pacific remained more buoyant with a reading of 57.0, up 1.1 on its 55.9 value last month.

Trading conditions continued to be strong in December even though the index fell in all regions. Europe declined 2.6 points to register 58.8, Asia-Pacific dropped by 1.4 to 59.4 – itself a robust score – but the index fell a sharp 4.9 in the Americas to 54.1.

The index for global marketing budges rose by 0.4 to 53.8 and marketers in all regions reported that their budgets were continuing to grow, although there was a noticeable gap expanding between the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

Marketing budget growth in Asia-Pacific rose an impressive 5.5 points to 56.4 while the index for the Americas fell 1.5 to 50.5. Europe, meanwhile, fell by 0.7 to 55.3.

The index of staffing levels, the final element of the GMI, registered a value of 54.6 in December, down by 1.3 since November. Although all regions recorded a fall, the overall figure still indicated that marketing departments are recruiting staff.

On a regional basis, Europe registered a monthly fall of 1.8, the Americas 1.6, while Asia-Pacific saw a decline of 0.5.

Commenting on the report, World Economics chief executive Ed Jones said: "Decemberss Headline Global Marketing Index reading indicates marketing activity is rising across all regions with marketing budgets having increased every month for two years without pause."

Data sourced from Warc