The pharma industry has been singled out for its strong performance in 2015, in a report which says manufacturing in the sector helped to offset the weaknesses in other areas of the UK economy.
An analysis by EEF, an organisation that represents over 20,000 manufacturers in the UK and economic forecasters Oxford Economics, heaped praise on the pharma industry for taking a step forward while the wider manufacturing industry saw a ‘significant weakening’ in 2015.
“Looking at the sector as a whole, growth has disappointed in 2015 and we’ve seen overall confidence levels tail off through the year,” says EEF chief economist Lee Hopley. But manufacturing in the pharma industry ‘staged a comeback’ in 2015, and the analysis forecasts that the growth seen in the ‘rejuvenated’ pharma manufacturing industry will continue into 2016.
“It’s not all doom and gloom,” the report finds. “The rejuvenation of the pharmaceutical industry providing reasons for cheer in UK manufacturing. Prospects for the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries are looking positive, with a drop in input costs and the end pf the patent cliff for the latter, driving growth in these sectors.
“After five consecutive years of contraction, the sector is finally coming off the patent cliff. Fundamentals are now looking strong for the industry, with ongoing acquisitions and pipelines for new products coming on stream. We expect the sector to grow by 1.0% this year and we see upside risks to our forecasts for robust growth of 2.2% in 2016.”
The report also predicts that employment in the pharma manufacturing sector will also increase in 2016, by 1.5% – having fallen by 3.1% in 2015. The sector is one of only three that is forecast to see growth in employment rates in the UK in 2016.