asked the Secretary of State for Industry what has been the increase since the first quarter of 1974 in the ex-factory price of domestic sewing machines produced in the United Kingdom; what is the corresponding figure for imports and exports; how these figures compare with the corresponding figures for engineering products less vehicles; and what increase in labour productivity would be required to enable the United Kingdom sewing machine industry to reduce prices to the level required to restore the margin of competitiveness to what it was in the first quarter of 1974.
Information on changes in the ex-factory price of domestic sewing machines produced in the United Kingdom is not available. The other data requested concerning price movements are given below. The proportion of ex-factory prices attributable to labour costs for the United Kingdom sewing machine industry is not available and therefore it is not possible to provide a reliable estimate of the effect that changes in labour productivity would have on the selling price.
|PRICE MOVEMENTS BETWEEN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 1974 AND THE PERIOD JANUARY TO AUGUST 1979|
|Domestic sewing machines (including sewing machine heads)|
|Import prices (a)||+132|
|Export prices (a)||+136|
|Engineering goods (less vehicles)|
|Wholesale prices for United Kingdom manufacturers (b)||+118|
|Import prices (c)||+100|
|Export prices (c)||+140|
|(a) Based on average price per unit.|
|(b) Coverage is that given by orders VII, VIII and IX of the Standard Industrial Classification (that is mechanical, instrument and electrical engineering).|
|(c) Coverage is that given by divisions 71 and 77 of the Standard Industrial Trade Classification (Rev. 2) which approximate to "engineering goods". Data are based mainly on average price per unit of weight.|