A survey conducted by Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) of European and US chemical firms found a wide range of plans for R&D and capital spending for 2015 as a result of economic conditions in the US, Europe and China. The eight companies providing estimates of R&D spending anticipated expenditures totaling $3,574 million, a gain of 1.3%. For the seven companies for which the last 10 years of data were available, R&D spending as a percentage of sales was predicted to fall to 4%. Estimates by the 22 companies providing information on anticipated 2015 capital expenditures totaled $22,867 million, down 4.4%. However, excluding data from BASF (whose expected capital spending made up almost one-quarter of the firms’ total and which reported plans to slash capital spending by $1.5 billion by reducing oil and gas investments), the firms’ expected capital expenditures would increase 2.4%. The 21 chemical firms for which the last 10 years’ capital expenditure data were available indicated a drop in average plant and equipment spending as a percentage of sales to 6%.

Source: C&EN

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