CIA Member Survey Reveals Positive UK Outlook
A survey of its members by the UK’s Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has shown that while some investment is expected to be hit by the uncertainty post-Brexit, three-quarters of companies will maintain or increase their capital expenditure. According to the trade association, 71% of members surveyed said levels of employment would remain the same or increase. The UK’s chemical industry creates 140,000 direct jobs and supports around half a million indirect jobs, with sales approaching £50 billion in 2015, according to CIA’s figures.
Over the next twelve months, 89% of respondents said investment in R&D will stay the same or increase, 87% said they believe exports will remain unchanged or rise, and 80% said sales will grow or remain stable. The poll, carried out after the UK voted to leave the EU, also highlighted the uncertainty over the country’s future relationship with the economic union and the exchange rate of Sterling to euro.
On a positive note, members said they saw opportunities for growth through expanded production capacity, new products coming into the market and other operational improvements. Sterling’s lower value is also expected to boost exports, a key driver of growth for the UK, although on the flip side, imports will become more expensive.
CIA’s chief executive Steve Elliott said the survey shows there is still confidence that the UK can be a good place to do business. “I hope the views of our business leaders will further support the wish for all of manufacturing to invest in the UK and the government will do all it can to make it even better for companies to invest here,” he added.