Pharmaceuticals industry growth continues despite uncertainty

The pharmaceuticals and chemistry industry in the UK has continued to grow in the third quarter of 2017, with around 13 per cent of firms reporting an increase in sales in the three months to September.

According to the Chemical Industries Association, the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries already add £14.4 billion to Britain’s economy, making up a tenth of the total value of the manufacturing industry.

The sector, which exports around £50 billion of chemicals every year, recorded growth across both employment and exports, presenting significant opportunity for short-term investments across the industry.

Capital investment and spending on research and development are also set to grow in the next 12 months, with net balances set at 30 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively.

Although Brexit is currently suppressing long-term investment, with 60 per cent of exports currently going to the EU, these statistics also suggest a positive future in terms of short-term investments.

Commenting on the industry’s future in investment, Steve Elliot, chief executive of the Chemical Industries Association, suggested that the apparent success of chemicals and pharmaceuticals could ultimately be extremely positive for UK employment and, particularly, for investment opportunity.

He said: “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.”

“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,” he added.

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