German chemical, pharmaceutical producers optimistic about growth
The VCI pointed to strong global and domestic demand from manufacturers in particular, raising their forecast for revenue in 2018 to 204 billion euros ($228.38 billion).
The Frankfurt-based industry association corrected an earlier annual revenue growth rate projection upward from 3 percent to 4.5 percent.
"The industry is currently enjoying a very strong positive momentum," a statement by VCI director Utz Tillmann read.
Tillmann noted that producers represented by the VCI were more optimistic about their commercial prospects than at any time since the 2008 global financial crisis.
The VCI director said the industry had performed better than expected in 2017. Revenue in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry rose six percent year on year while production increased 3.8 percent.
In light of a successful start to the new year, production could now increase again by 3.5 percent in 2018 and was likely to witness a corresponding additional rise in the number of staff employed by chemical and pharmaceutical companies from a total of 453,000 currently.
However, the VCI warned that an uptick in protectionist trade policies resulting from U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" ideology, and Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU) posed a significant risk to the earnings potential of the industry.
The U.S. and Britain are two of the most important export markets for German chemical and pharmaceutical producers. ■