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Ceresana Industry Monitor at 14.5 Points: Optimistic Start Into the Year

The chemical and plastic industries continue to be optimistic. 43% of the survey participants expect their business situation to improve within the next 6 to 12 months.

Konstanz, Germany, May 17, 2012 --( On all continents, there are more respondents to the Ceresana Industry Monitor that expect their business situation to improve than to worsen. Expectations are above the average, especially in North America and Asia-Pacific.

Stable Number of Employees and Increasing Production

Many companies responded that they did not plan on changing their number of employees at home and abroad. However, about 29% expect their number of employees to increase at home. 16% anticipate a decline in the number of staff abroad. This results from the increasing production volumes seen during past months. Most companies are satisfied with their capacity utilization. More than one company in four has a utilization of 70% to 80% at home.

Companies Require Changes in Fiscal Policies

The survey results revealed that 46% of the companies consider the amount of taxes and fees in their country as too high. In Eastern Europe, 61% of the respondents evaluate the level of taxes and fees as poor, followed by North America (52%), Asia-Pacific (45%), and Western Europe (40%).

The volatility of exchange rates and regulation/stabilization of financial markets have been rated similarly. 17% of the respondents evaluate the access to financing and lending policies of banks in their home country as good.

Need for Action Regarding Raw Material, Transportation, and Energy Prices
More than half of the surveyed companies assess the stability and level of raw material, transportation, and energy prices in their country as poor, while only about one company in ten evaluates these aspects as good. An interesting finding was that over 70% of the respondents from Eastern Europe and North America each evaluate the stability and level of raw material, transportation, and energy prices in their respective country as good.

A different picture emerges when looking at the supply and availability of raw materials and energy. About 29% assess supply and availability in their country as good. About half of respondents evaluate them as satisfying.

Good Liquidity Position and Financing Opportunities

45% of the respondents evaluate their liquidity position as good. Especially in Western Europe, more than one company in two is satisfied with its liquidity position.

More than 47% of the survey participants from Western Europe and 47% from North America evaluate their financing possibilities as good. Companies rate their profitability as well as efficient use of resources and energy management less positively.

Good Customer Relations and Green Ambitions

More than one company in two believes to have a good customer relationship management. 61% of the respondents from Western Europe evaluate their customer relationship management as good, followed by North America (52%). Furthermore, more than one third is satisfied with the share of new products in their portfolio. Most companies see need for action in expanding their range of bio-based and biodegradable products.

CIM Barometer at 14.5 Points
The chemical industry is mostly optimistic about the second quarter 2012. The current situation of the companies is at 13.9 points. The expectations, at 15.2 points, are even slightly better. These two figures result in the business climate, which achieves 14.5 points. This is even above the positive value seen in the previous winter survey (10.8).

Ceresana Industry Monitor - Methodology
The CIM analyzes the business climate of the global chemical and plastic industries. Individuals selected from a pool of more than 110,000 companies are asked to participate in our surveys every three months. The survey was answered by decision-makers from 52 countries.

In order to provide a representative overall picture, companies 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 five industrial sectors: Manufacturers of petrochemicals, plastics & elastomers, processors of plastics & elastomers, specialty chemistry, chemical trade as well as paints, varnishes & adhesives. Survey participants will get the in-depths reports for free.

About Ceresana Research
Ceresana is the most trusted market research company for the industry. Companies, institutions, and associations from more than 55 countries have already profited from the company's global market data and well-founded prognoses. The core competencies include chemicals, plastics, additives, commodities, industrial components, packaging, and construction materials.
Contact Information
Ceresana Research
Sandra Schulze
+49 7531 94293 12
Technologiezentrum, Blarerstr. 56, 78462 Konstanz, Germany

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