LONDON: Marketing budgets are now rising across the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, according to Warc's latest Global Marketing Index.

The Global Marketing Index, launched in late 2011, draws on data provided by a panel of executives representing brand owners, media companies, ad agencies and other operators serving the communications industry.

In April, the headline reading – incorporating readings for marketing spending, trading conditions and staffing levels – reached 58.1 points, versus 57.4 points in March. A score topping 50 points indicates positive sentiment.

The standings for marketing expenditure alone rose from 51.5 points to 53.7 points month on month. Figures for the Americas hit 57.4 points, falling to 53.1 points in Asia Pacific and 50.4 points in Europe.

"The second quarter of the year has started positively, with European budgets marking a reading of above 50 for the first time," said Suzy Young, Warc's data editor.

"That said, it remains to be seen whether or not this optimism will continue over the months to come, given the current economic conditions."

By medium, digital channels performed strongly on 78.3 points, ahead of mobile on 70.2 points, easily the leading two players here. Television also recorded a favourable total, on 51.6 points.

But prospects appeared to be particularly adverse for press titles, as this category registered just 37.1 points.

When discussing trading conditions, respondents returned a collective 62.1 points, bettering the 60.8 points logged in March and 59.7 points from February, suggesting optimism is hardening.

Meanwhile, the index for staffing fell slightly from 59.8 points last month to 58.5 points in April. The seasonal nature of employment and the fact this area is often a lagging economic indicator were cited as possible reasons behind this trend.

Separately, the IPA, the UK trade body, has released its latest Bellwether Report, based on interviews with some 300 marketers. It found that 22% of companies in the country had boosted marketing budgets in the first quarter of 2012 and 21% cut back, leaving a 1% positive net balance.

This difference reached 7.8% in terms of the overall number of organisations raising their internet adspend, whereas traditional media was down by 2.7% and direct marketing was off by 3.2%.

Data sourced from Warc/IPA; additional content by Warc staff