According to a survey by the Chemical Industries Association, chemical and pharmaceutical companies are continuing their positive outlook in the midst of significant post-Brexit concerns, despite weakening sales and exports in Q2 2016.
The second quarter member company business survey found that looking to the next 12 months 89% of respondents feel that investment in research and development will either remain the same or increase. While some investment is expected to take a hit from Brexit uncertainty, three quarters of companies will maintain or increase capital investment expenditure, while 71% say that employment levels will remain the same or increase.
Conducted after the UK voted to leave the European Union, the survey also highlighted the worries of uncertainty over our future relationship with the EU and the exchange rate, as some businesses rein in investment. On the positive side, members felt there were opportunities for growth through expanded production capacity, new products and other operational improvements. The lower value of sterling is also expected to boost exports, a vital driver of growth for the UK’s leading goods export sector, although as a consequence import costs will increase.
Chief executive of the Chemical Industries Association, Steve Elliott, said: “It is right we acknowledge that we are in uncertain times while the country exits the European Union, but our survey shows that there is still confidence that the UK can be a good place to do business. The products and technologies of our companies are vital enablers to the rest of manufacturing. I hope he 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.”