According to a survey by Chemical & Engineering News, the 16 chemical firms that gave answers about capital spending will increase capital spending by an average of 7.6% this year. Increases of 28.1% and 16.5% were recorded in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Among the firms, the largest increase in capital investments, 36.4%, will be recorded by Ferro and H.B. Fuller. Of the group surveyed, capital spending is estimated to be 4.8% of sales, up from 4.6% in 2006. The group of 14 companies that responded to questions about future R&D spending planned an average 5.8% increase over last year. This marks a decline from 2005 and 2006, with increases in research spending of 7.3% and 9.0%, respectively. Abermarle is expected to increase R&D spending by a group-leading 30.4%. R&D is estimated to be 2.4% of sales in 2007, up slightly from 2.3% in 2006 and 2005. Source: Chemical & Engineering News

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