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Competitiveness

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has increased its economic growth rate forecast for 2014 and 2015, but has cut its forecast for export growth. In a revision of its previous forecast in May, it has upgraded its GDP growth forecast in 2014 from 3.1% to 3.2% – the highest growth rate since 2007 – and in 2015 from 2.7% to 2.8%. 29 August 2014
A German company is setting up a plastics chrome plating plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, US. Bolta Werke said the facility will be its first in the United States for the Leinburg, Germany, firm. 29 August 2014
Staff at Lincolnshire based technical recycling and compounder Luxus have achieved a £30,000 labour savings thanks to a project which they proposed as part of their NVQ level 2 studies. 27 August 2014
Manufacturing pay is outstripping the rest of the economy with the average pay settlement in the six months from February to July reaching a healthy 2.6%. 26 August 2014
Swiss specialty additives maker Sukano, has elected Michael de Braaf as its new CEO. 26 August 2014
PVC pipe and specialty chemicals maker Mexichem SAB de CV said it has agreed to buy Dura-Line, a prominent manufacturer of high density polyethylene conduit, duct and pressure pipe for telecommunications and data communications, from CHS Capital for $630m (€472m). 26 August 2014
Promens, the Icelandic packaging and rotational moulding group, is planning to restructure its packaging operations in Germany with the closure of two blow moulding plants next year. 22 August 2014
Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) and Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical (SCAC) have entered into a preliminary agreement for the reuse of waste water from Bayer’s polycarbonate production in Shanghai. 22 August 2014
Composite maker Gurit has reported a 28.8% sales increase to CHF 167m (£110m) for the first six months of 2014, versus the same period of last year. Compared with the second half of 2013, sales grew 10.2%, confirming the recovery started in summer 2013. 22 August 2014
Cincinnati-based Milacron plans to invest £18m over the next three years in India. 21 August 2014
British households saw no improvement to their incomes during August, according to the latest Household Finance Index, compiled by financial data firm Markit. 21 August 2014
Expectations for manufacturing output growth in the next three months are strong, despite an easing of pace over the past quarter, the latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey shows. 20 August 2014
Reinforced polymer technology specialist Fenner has capitalised on favourable market conditions to refinance its core bank facilities with a banking syndicate comprising Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, HSBC, Barclays and Santander.  19 August 2014
Ineos has moved into UK shale exploration with the purchase of BG Group’s 51% share of the shale section of a joint Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL). The remaining 49% is owned by exploration company Dart Energy. No figures were disclosed. 18 August 2014
Polypipe, which floated in the stock exchange in April, has reported its results for the six months to 30 June 2014; revenue was up 11% on last year to £168.2m. 18 August 2014


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