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National Income Estimates

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1951

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will explain the disparities between the totals for the year 1948 shown in table 26 of the Economic White Paper for 1951 and figures for the same year in the equivalent table, which is table 13, of the White Paper of 1950 and figures for the same year in the equivalent table, which is table 20, of the White Paper for 1949; and why no explanation of these changes is offered in the latest White Paper.

As explained in previous years, national income estimates are regularly revised from year to year as more complete information becomes available. The main reason, however, for the disparities referred to is a change in the definitions of certain technical terms used. These questions of definition are too complex to be discussed in the Economic Survey but full notes are given in the White Paper on National Income and Expenditure, which was published yesterday. If the analysis of gross domestic capital formation in this year's National Income White Paper (Cmd. 8203) is compared with that given last year (Cmd. 7933), it will be seen that stock appreciation and certain types of investment abroad by British companies are now both excluded.