20 November 2013 17:10 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Energy costs are seen as by far the most negative factor facing the UK’s chemicals industry, according to the results of a survey by trade body the Chemical Industries Association, released on Wednesday.
Out of 11 factors listed as factors on the country’s chemicals manufacturing sector, the cost of energy was cited as “somewhat negative” by over half of respondents, and “very negative” by over 40% of the 100 respondents.
The UK’s regulatory climate was also identified as one of the more problematic factors for the industry, according to CIA’s third-quarter survey.
CIA chief Steve Elliot said, “Government in the UK and the EU needs to look carefully at the design of industrial policy to ensure the concerns of business leaders - who are making investment decisions - are considered.
“Without urgent action on energy costs - where UK businesses face a huge price differential opposite their US competitors – and the European regulatory framework - still far too restrictive in terms of investment, jobs and growth - I fear the general optimistic outlook of our members will fade,” he added.
Factors such as workforce skills, support services and taxation were more positively-perceived, with the majority of respondents rating them as “somewhat” or “very” positive.
CIA added that 90% of the responding businesses expected sales to increase or maintain at their current levels in the next 12 months, and three quarters of respondents expect to maintain or expand current workforce levels.
80% estimate that capital expenditure levels will maintain or increase during the period, and 95% predict that research and development spending will also be maintained or grow.
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