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Global Marketing Index (GMI)

Released: April 29, 2016
Global Marketing Activity Grows Rapidly in April
  • All regions show steady growth, but Europe in the lead
  • Global marketing budgets grow for 38th successive month
  • Strong TV budget share growth in Europe but continues decline in Asia and the Americas

The latest Global Marketing Index (GMI) showed that global marketing activity remained broadly stable in April. The Global GMI registered 55.1, signalling steady growth over the month. All regions recorded growth in marketing activity particularly Europe with a headline GMI of 59.0, indicating very strong and sustained levels of business activity. However, the Americas GMI posted the lowest reading, with the index rising to 52.2 from 52.0 in March.

Global Marketing Budgets grew for the 38th successive month in April. Although the growth in the resources allocated to marketing budgets was modest, April saw the second consecutive month that the index increased in value. It is too early to assess whether or not this trend could reverse the slowdown in the growth of marketing budgets which began at the end of 2013. The level of the global Trading Conditions Index has been slowly easing for the past 14 months to reach 54.5 in April, this indicates that if an overall slowdown in global marketing activity continues, marketers will start to experience more challenging conditions during the year.

Digital and Mobile continued to grow rapidly across the world and in all regions, increasing their share of advertising budgets. Meanwhile, the allocation of media spending to more traditional outlets – Press, Radio and OOH – fell again in April on a global level and across all regions. Similarly, the global allocation of marketing budgets to TV fell in April with an index value recording 48.6, below the 50 ‘no-change’ level. TV’s share of marketing budgets also fell in the Asia-Pacific region and in the Americas. In contrast, TV continued to grow strongly in Europe, rising from its March value to 55.9.

The Staffing Index, which reflects the number of staff taken on compared to the same period last year, increased to 58.1 in April, the fourth successive monthly rise. This indicates a continued strong increase in marketing payroll numbers. Staffing levels rose in Europe and the Americas, but fell slightly in the Asia-Pacific region.


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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.

The more distant the index is from the amount that would indicate "no change" (50 points), the greater the rate of change indicated. Therefore, an index value of 58 indicates a faster rate of increase than an index value of 53, and an index value of 40 indicates a faster rate of decrease than an index value of 45. A value of 100 indicates all respondents are reporting increased activity while 0 indicates that all respondents report decreased activity.

As of March 2015, all index values are based on a three month moving average to mitigate abnormal seasonal variations.

About the Global Marketing Index 
The World Economics Global Marketing Index (GMI) provides a unique monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry, by tracking current conditions among marketers.

Our global panel (2,000+ 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.

About World Economics
World Economics is an organisation dedicated to producing analysis, insight and data relating to questions of importance in understanding the world economy. Its parent company Information Sciences Ltd has a long history of the development of key business information today used throughout the world, including the origination of the Purchasing Managers Indexes in Europe and Asia (now owned by Markit) .

Currently our primary research objective is to encourage and assist the development of better and faster measures of economic activity. In cases where we believe we can contribute directly, as opposed to through highlighting the work of others, we are producing our own measures of economic activity.

Our work is mainly of interest to investors, organisations and individuals in the financial sector and to significant corporations with global operations, as well as governments and academic economists.
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