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Businesses in the UK chemical and pharmaceutical industry, who are Britain’s leading manufacturing exporters, are looking forward to another year of growth in 2016, according to a survey.

The survey of business confidence for members of the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) shows that more than 90% of businesses expect sales volumes to remain or exceed 2015 levels when there was a record 5% growth. More than 40% expect sales volumes to grow in 2016. Similar sentiment was expressed in terms of exports, investment in research & development, and investment in buildings and technology. Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the CIA, said: “What we are seeing across the sector is real confidence in growth.

“Of course, the economy is very challenging for all sectors but our companies throughout the UK are investing for the future and providing a quality and safe service to their customers. “The export performance continues to be astonishing. Although the end of 2015 was difficult for all sectors, our growth between 2014 and 2015 in exports of goods to countries outside the EU was an extra £6 billion. “As the European market continues to struggle, UK companies in our industry are successfully exporting to the world”.

The survey was carried out in January 2016