In the latest survey of its members by the Chemical Industries Association, most companies predict that they will increase sales and exports in the next 12 months.
Nearly 60% of companies expect sales and export growth, while almost 50% of businesses will increase capital expenditure and grow employment numbers.
In a look at productivity, member companies reported a 10% increase in productivity between 2008 and 2014, and 60% of companies increased their productivity during the last 12 months.
Official numbers reflected the business leaders’ confidence and the sector’s position as the UK’s number one manufacturing exporter, with chemical industry exports to the USA increasing by 65% to represent 19% of all exports and pharmaceutical exports to the USA increasing by a massive 124% to represent 33% of all exports.
Meanwhile, chemical exports to the European Union fell by 8.6% but were still 55% of all exports to EU. Pharmaceutical exports to Europe fell by 9% but still represent 42% of all exports.
Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association, said: ‘These latest results show how chemical and pharmaceutical businesses are grasping opportunities to compete on the world stage. What we need for the future is government action on energy policy and, especially, shale gas, plus a continued framework for innovation. I am confident that this will convince companies to invest in the UK and ensure we continue to deliver a positive environmental, social and economic performance throughout the country.’