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Marketing budgets are still in general decline around the world, details the [pdf] October Warc Global Marketing Index (GMI). The budget component of the index stands at 48.8 this month. While that’s an improvement from a score of 48 last month, it continues what is now a 5-month long run below the threshold score of 50. (A score above 50 indicates a generally improving environment, while a score below 50 indicates a generally declining environment.)

Still, the news isn’t bad in all regions. In fact, the budget score in the Americas improved slightly to 53.8 (from 53.5), while the Asia-Pacific index score passed the threshold to hit 51. Europe contributed the worst showing, with a score of 44.1, down from 44.8, bringing down the overall average.

Overall Marketing Index Stays in Positive Territory

While the budget component of the index showed mixed results, there were more positive signs from the other components that make up the headline GMI index. The trading conditions component stood at 54.7 in October, unchanged from the prior month. The Americas again led the way, registering a score of 60, which signals rapid growth. Asia-Pacific (54.3) and Europe (52.5) also stayed in positive territory.

While the global index of staffing levels also remained positive, its score of 53.4 was its lowest reading since Warc began tracking this component last year. Still, marketing in the Americas reported rapid growth (62.1), with Asia-Pacific (52.6) and Europe (52) also growing in this area.

The net result of the 3 components (budgets, trading conditions, and staffing) was a positive reading for the headline GMI index, with a value of 52.3, down slightly from 52.9 in September. Both the Americas (58.6) and Asia-Pacific (52.6) registered a positive outlook, while Europe (49.5) dropped slightly below the threshold level to a negative outlook on account of its depressed budget levels.

About the Data: Warc’s global panel (1,225 members) consists of experienced executives working for brand owners, media owners, creative and media agencies and other organisations serving the marketing industry. The panel has been carefully selected to reflect trends in the three main global regions: Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Data collection period: 1-12 September 2012. The Global Marketing Index results are calculated by taking the percentage of respondents that report that the activity has risen (“Increasing”) and adding it to one-half of the percentage that report the activity has not changed (“Unchanged”). Using half of the “Unchanged” percentage effectively measures the bias toward a positive (above 50 points) or negative (below 50 points) index. As an example of calculating a diffusion index, if the response is 40% “Increasing,” 40% “Unchanged,” and 20% “Reducing,” the Diffusion Index would be 60 points (40% + [0.50 x 40%]). A value of 50 indicates “no change” from the previous month.

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