Digital and out-of-home (OOH) were the only media to see marketing budgets grow around the world last month, as all other channels registered declines.

This is according to the latest results from WARC's Global Marketing Index, a monthly barometer of marketer sentiment towards trading conditions, budgets and staffing. (To join the global panel, register here.)

With a benchmark score of 50 points to indicate no change, digital (excluding mobile) budgets saw the quickest growth in March, with an index value of 65.5. Mobile budgets were close behind, at 65.2, while OOH showed a small increase, at 50.2.

Overall, marketing budgets grew last month, at 50.2, although this was pulled down by other media declining.

TV budgets contracted for the first time this year, at 49.3. Press saw the largest drop, to 32.1, although this is an improvement from February's 30.7. Radio has shown little change, with an index value of 43.9 in February and 43.5 in March.

By region, the Americas has seen a steep decline in spend between October 2018 (51.0) to February (43.5). March reported easing, though, with its index value climbing to 46.0.

While marketing budgets in Asia Pacific and Europe were equal in February at 52.0, both have seen growth slow. APAC saw the largest drop, down to 50.9, compared to Europe's 51.3.

Overall, the Headline GMI growth rate continues to slow, dropping from 51.4 to 51.1 in March. Europe and APAC remain in growth but are down from the month before. However, the rate of decline in the Americas index has eased: 48.1 was up from 47.3 in February.

March data also shows positive growth in global staffing levels from a year ago . Employment levels are rising fastest in Europe (54.8) and continue to grow in the Americas (52.8). APAC still reports decline (48.7) but this has been slowing in recent months.

Europe also took the lead as the region with the biggest perceived improvement in trading conditions, with an index value of 53.0 up from February's 51.9.

Growth in trading conditions in APAC dropped in March, but remains positive, at 52.3. The Americas saw a slight improvement but contraction has continued, moving from 44.5 to 45.5.

Data sourced from WARC