19 September 1994 00:00 [Source: ICB]
ACCORDING TO the UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA), the industry is spearheading the UK's economic recovery. Overall output for H1 was up by almost 5% compared to the same period in 1993, and output for the whole year is expected to increase by around 3.5%, compared with 2.7% forecast in April.
In the basic chemical sector, output of inorganic chemicals in the first six months of 1994 increased by 5.5% compared with the similar period in 1993. Output of organic chemicals increased by 6.1% and production of dyestuffs/pigments showed an increase of 9.5%, although these were partially offset by small gains in fertilisers and plastics.
Output of chemicals for use in pharmaceuticals in H1 increased by 10.5% while speciality chemicals in industrial and agricultural use declined by 2.8% and by 6.9% in household and office use products.
Chemical export volumes for the January-May period increased by 5.8%, with gains to both EU and non-EU markets. Further evidence of strengthening manufacturing activity is reflected in a 9.1% increase in import volumes.
The CIA's director general John Cox said he was 'encouraged' by the continuing rise in output volume, but called for further efforts to 'achieve the benefits of UK deregulation; secure lower costs, particularly with respect to electricity charges; maintain our leading edge in research and innovation; and ensure a competitive framework for EU on all fronts.'
In response to the 0.5% increase in UK interest rates last week, the CIA said We endorse the priority of controlling inflation while noting the underlying challenge for companies of maintaining international competitiveness is intensified.
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