Confidence within the plastics industry remains high but stable, according to the latest figures from the British Plastics Federation.
In its latest survey of Business Conditions in the UK plastics sector, conducted in June 2014, the figures were at a similarly high level to those reported in January, with little significant change in the subsequent six months.
“The overall message is that the level of business confidence remains high but has reached a plateau , at least momentarily,” commented Philip Law, the BPF's Director General.
Some 72 percent of respondents forecasted an increase in UK sales turnover, compared with 73 percent in the January survey. Similarly, 46 percent of respondents expected their profitability to increase in the next 12 months, down slightly from 49 percent in the previous survey.
Exporters also reported a stable situation, with 56 percent expecting sales to remain the same over the next twelve months, although this was up from 50 percent in January 2014.
The survey illustrated an increasing trend in investment intentions. Some 42 percent of respondents are planning 'significant investments', up from 36 percent in the January 2014 survey and 31 percent in January 2013.
The growing disparity between the plastics industry's aspirations to recruit more staff and its actual ability to find appropriately qualified manpower was further revealed. Forty-six percent were expecting to increase staff levels over the next year, the highest level seen in four years. Yet, 48 percent were experiencing difficulties in recruitment, up from 36 percent in January. Technical Managers were cited as being particularly hard to find.
For a full copy of the survey click here