The wider chemical and pharmaceutical sector, which is the largest exporter of manufactured goods with annual exports of £50 billion, is continuing to grow according to the latest survey of the Chemical Industries Association.
Member companies of the Association report the strongest employment growth over the past three months since 2015 with a balance of 12% reporting an increase in jobs to the sector’s 140,000 direct workforce. Member companies of the Association report the strongest employment growth over the past three months since 2015 with a balance of 12% reporting an increase in jobs to the sector’s 140,000 workforce. Sales (13%) and export (6%) volume growth have remained stable.
The outlook for the next 12 months is tempered by Brexit uncertainty, but capital investment (30%), research and development expenditure (24%) and jobs (15%) are also set to continue to grow over the next year. It is the longer term investment that is a worry, until the Brexit position is clearer.
Chief Executive of the Association, Steve Elliott said “We continue to work on Brexit and all the issues surrounding it which of course are critical, but chemical and pharmaceutical businesses do not want the whole issue to dominate everything they do. While our outlook is tempered by Brexit uncertainty, there are genuine and exciting opportunities for the sector in the UK building on our excellent University links, pushing forward innovation, developing supply chains and moving to a new energy future. Much of this work is done in regions of the UK where employment is desperately needed. This latest set of results reflects the hard work of the women and men who lead and work in chemical and pharmaceutical businesses across the UK. Long may it continue”
The latest business survey of Chief Executives of member companies of the Chemical Industries Association was carried out in October 2017, reflecting on the three months July August and September and looking ahead over the next 12 months. 33 key chemical and pharmaceutical businesses responded. The figures presented above are balance statistics, which are calculated by subtracting the percentage of businesses indicating a decrease from the percentage of firms indicating an increase. A positive figure is indicates of growth while a negative figure indicates contraction.
For an interview with/further comment from Steve Elliott please call Luke Symns on 020 7963 6791 or Simon Marsh on 07951 389197
• The chemical and pharmaceutical industry adds £14.4 billion of value to the UK economy every year from total annual turnover of over £40 billion. This represents around 10% of the value added by the whole of UK manufacturing.
• In addition to gross value added, the sector also contributes to the UK economy in its position at the head of many supply chains within manufacturing and its employment of a well remunerated, high-skilled workforce. Chemical manufacturing adds £9 billion in gross value added annually and pharmaceutical manufacturing £5 billion.
• The wider chemical and pharmaceutical sector (manufacturing plus distribution) is the largest exporter of manufactured goods with annual exports of close to £50 billion. The export of motor vehicle, trailers and semi-trailers is the sector with next highest exports of £35 billion.
• 63% of companies in the sector export what they make to the world, the highest proportion of any goods manufacturing sector in the UK economy. 60% of our exports go to the European Union and 75% of our imports and raw materials come from the European Union.