KONSTANZ, Germany - Ceresana Research has released its autumn survey of the chemical industry. The survey reveals an optimistic business climate in highly competitive markets and reports that growing competition and considerable increases in R&D expenditures will dominate global chemical markets during the next months.

In spite of macro-economically uncertain times and the gloomy mood in many other industrial sectors, the chemical and plastic industries are optimistic about the last quarter of 2011. Approximately 40 percent of participants in the Ceresana Industry Monitor (CIM) assess their business situation in September as good. Only 10 percent evaluate their business situation as poor. Large companies (turnover of more than EUR 500 million) assess their situation more often as good than small companies.

Almost one-quarter of all surveyed companies anticipate their business situation will change for the worse over the next six to 12 months. In contrast, more than 43 percent expect an improvement. Petrochemical and manufacturers of plastics and elastomers have particularly positive expectations.

Almost 80 percent of those companies that evaluated their current business situation as good do not expect this will change for the worse. Despite a uniformly positive mood, there are considerable regional differences in the assessment of business situation and outlook. For example, the business situation in Asia is expected to see particularly positive development.

Nearly 60 percent of all surveyed companies expect demand for their products will rise over the next months. This is why the positive outlook for employees it is not surprising: 35 percent of the respondents want to increase staff expenses; only 14 percent plan cutbacks.

Numerous decision makers regard renewable energies as a profitable and promising business. Chemical companies evaluate the field of transport and mobility as important as environmental protection when asked about their most important future markets. R&D is very important to chemical companies. However, the autumn survey results reveal that more companies are willing to increase their marketing expenses than their R&D expenditures.

The CIM analyzes the business climate of the global chemical and plastic industry. Individuals selected from a pool of more than 18,000 companies are asked to participate in surveys every three months. Decision makers from 40 countries took part in the survey.

In order to provide a representative overall picture, companies and associations of all sizes were asked about their current business situation, expectations, and evaluations. This allows for detecting future market trends but also opportunities and challenges on time.

The detailed results can be obtained exclusively from Ceresana Research. The results offer a general overview of the chemical industry as well as detailed analyses of industrial sectors. For additional information, visit http://www.ceresana.com/en/cim/.