LONDON: Global marketing activity remained steady in October, according to the latest Global Marketing Index (GMI) data, with a continued recovery in European marketing budgets being offset by a decline in the Americas.

The headline GMI for the month stood at 55.2, up marginally from 55.0 in September and 55.1 in August. A reading of 50 indicates no change and 60+ suggests rapid growth.

The positive outlook implied by that figure was put into context, however, when compared with the greater optimism seen around the world this time last year, when the year-to-date average GMI was 60.5.

Compiled by World Economics, the GMI provides a unique monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry because it tracks current conditions for marketers as well as their expectations for budgets and staffing levels.

Marketing activity grew most strongly in Europe, where the headline GMI rose from 57.5 to 58.6. In contrast, the corresponding figures for Asia-Pacific were down from 54.1 to 53.8, while the Americas registered a full percentage point decline from 52.8 to 51.8.

But World Economics noted that marketing activity in North America was rising on the back of economic growth while the opposite was the case for swathes of South America, most notably Brazil.

That was also reflected in the Index for marketing budgets, where a value of 49.3 was recorded for the region, up from 48.3 the previous month but still demonstrative of declining spend. Europe, meanwhile, continued to perform well on this score as its Marketing Budgets Index hit 56.7, the sixth successive monthly increase.

GMI data for October also confirmed the trend towards allocating more of budgets to digital media. Globally, the index value for digital was 74.9 in October, up by 0.9 points, while that for mobile was 71.8, up 0.5.

The indexes for all traditional media were below 50, although the decline in TV budgets at least softened from September: the global TV index was up 1.3 to 47.7.

"The headline GMI for October indicated that marketing activity is still rising across the world in all regains but at a slower pace than in 2014," said Ed Jones, World Economics chief executive. "Europe is standing out with continuing increases in adspend while the Americas are cutting overheads."

"It is still clear that digital and mobile are expanding rapidly in all regions at the expense of traditional media," he added.

Data sourced from World Economics; additional content by Warc staff