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Balance Of Payments

Volume 974: debated on Monday 19 November 1979

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the balance of payments deficit in each of the past 10 years; what was the value of the contribution made by North Sea oil and gas towards reducing the deficit in each of these years; and what is his estimate of these figures for the first 10 months of the current year.

The information is as follows:

£ billion, current prices
Current balanceDirect contribution of North Sea oil and gas*
1969+ 0·5
1970+ 0·8
1971+ 1·20·1
1972+ 0·20·2
1973- 0·90·3
1974- 3·30·8
1975- 1·60·7
1976- 0·81·2
1977+ 0·32·9
1978+ 1·03·9
* Details about the assumptions on which these estimates are based are given in the Treasury's economic progress report for August 1979 and in the Bank of England's Quarterly Bulletin for September 1979.
The current account is estimated to have been in deficit by £2·5 billion in the first 10 months of 1979. The direct contribution of North Sea oil and gas to the current account in 1979 is forecast to be about £8½ billion; an estimate for the first 10 months is not available.