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Volume 973: debated on Wednesday 14 November 1979

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why he believes that a comparison of movements in wholesale and export prices for manufactures is a reliable indicator of changes in the relative profitability of exports; and if he will circulate in the Official Report the evidence he has to show that United Kingdom exports were more profitable relative to the home market in the first quarter of the current year than they were in 1977.

A comparison of the movements in wholesale prices and export prices for manufactures will be a reasonable measure of the relative profitability of export and domestic sales to the extent that the cost structures of production for the export and domestic markets are similar. Information on this measure was given in my right hon. and learned Friend's reply to the hon. Member on 22 October.—[Vol. 972, c. 56–60.]