The Economy

  Contact the team

For economics related enquiries, please contact:

Tom Warren 

[email protected]

Our sector is critical to the UK economy. Our companies drive innovation and deliver real advantages to high value downstream industries and society. We work alongside member companies to build a broad understanding of our industry’s economic contribution.  We contribute to ensuring a sustainable industry through the work of the Chemistry Council and by influencing UK Government policy through engagement on the Budget, BEIS’s Industrial Strategy and throughout the post-Brexit transition. We aim to ensure continued growth in the chemical sectors’ contribution of £18 billion in annual value add to the UK economy, equivalent to an impressive 10% of all manufacturing. The sector is a major exporter of goods, delivering a net (trade) surplus and is a significant job creator with 155,000 employed in high quality, well paid jobs across the UK.

Chemical businesses are located throughout the UK, with many of them clustered together in the North East of England, North West of England and Central Scotland.  These factories and laboratories, operated by a highly trained and skilled workforce, make a significant contribution towards the UK’s productivity performance – double that of any other manufacturing industry and triple that of any part of the UK economy.

Nearly half a million people are employed in the sector or have roles that are dependent on the sector. Chemical workers typically earn 35% more than other manufacturing industries and 55% more than the average worker.

We are also the country’s biggest manufacturing exporter, sending goods to the value of more than £57 billion to other countries. The EU represents our most important market, but we continue to work closely with Government to inform and secure UK trade deals with other key chemical markets such as Japan and the USA.



CIA Quarterly Economic Reports

At the CIA, we undertake a quarterly business survey of our membership. The data collected, and official data provided by the Office for National Statistics, is then presented back to members for further analysis. A comprehensive economic report is then published, looking in detail at the topics discussed by members, in addition to the economic performance of the prior quarter and forecasts for the future.


First quarter (April 2021)

Second quarter (August 2021) 

Third quarter (December 2021)

Fourth quarter (April 2022)

First quarter (June 2022)


Economic capability of the CIA

The CIA have a multitude of databases on topics including but not limited to: Trade, Production, Labour Statistics, Regional Analysis and R&D and Investment. This gives us the ability to provide colleagues and members with timely reliable data on any economic topic within the chemical industry.

It’s always important to understand what the future holds and how our customer markets will perform. Through our partnership with IHS Markit, we can provide members with macroeconomic and industry forecast for 105 industries in 75 countries. We supplement IHS Markit’s forecasts with our own member data to create exclusive forecasts.


Letters to Government


Chemical industry proposals for post COVID-19 recovery