KONSTANZ, Germany - The global chemical and plastic industries are optimistic despite the continuing European debt crisis and the worldwide economic decline. Companies interviewed in a new Ceresana Research survey declare themselves satisfied with the current demand at home and from abroad; every third company is even planning an increase in production volume.

The global chemical and plastic industries continue to be optimistic. Over 42 percent of responding survey participants expect an improvement of their business situation in the upcoming six-to-12 months. This is mainly due to a stable demand in both domestic and foreign markets. More than a third of the interviewees rate the current demand at home as “good.” The same is true for 30 percent of the companies with regards to demand from abroad.

Over half of the companies rating demand for their products as “good” are intending to capitalize on the good initial position and increase their domestic production volume. Furthermore, 44 percent of the panel members expect to be able to increase their export volume in the next 12 months. Slightly less are assuming a constant export volume, and only six percent are anticipating a decline. More than two-thirds of the companies looking to increase their export volume also expect an improvement of their business situation in the upcoming 12 months.

Over 60 percent of the companies surveyed believe that prices for raw materials and preliminary products will rise in the next 12 months, especially countries in Eastern Europe, where more than 70 percent of interviewees are anticipating an increase.

Additional costs generated by price increases in raw materials and preliminary products are passed on to consumers by the companies. Over 70 percent of panel members stated they intend to shift additional costs to the consumer by raising prices.

Another factor ensuring stability for future development is the investments undertaken by companies. A large number of companies have executed investment in the past. Further investment, especially in expansion, replacement and renewal, are planned. Investments are also planned in areas such as innovation of products and processes, marketing and sales, as well as personnel.

Ceresana used its Ceresana Industry Monitor (CIM) barometer to measure the current economic climate. The company established a value of 10.2 points for the current situation of companies surveyed, constituting a slight decrease of the evaluation of the business situation by companies in comparison with the previous survey (13.9 points). Expectations score somewhat better, with 16.4 points (compared to 15.2 points in spring). The resulting CIM-barometer for the global business climate experienced a slight decrease from 14.5 points to 13.3 points when compared to the spring survey.

The early-summer survey was conducted from April 23 to May 13, 2012. Companies and associations in the chemical and plastic industries were interviewed on a two-monthly basis. The survey was answered by decision makers in 47 countries. In order to provide a representative picture, companies of all sizes were asked about their current business situation and expectations.

Visit www.ceresana.com/en/cim/ for more information.