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Trade Returns (Computer Programmes)

Volume 976: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what changes would have to be made to the computer programmes to enable the volume and unit value information for a particular country to be extracted from the trade returns; and how many man-hours would have to be spent and at what approximate cost to enable this to be done.

The provision of reliable information on volume and unit value of United Kingdom's trade with particular countries would be a complex task involving both computer and manual resources. The work would involve, among other things, consideration of the methodology of deriving such estimates to ensure that they were both accurate and consistent with the existing aggregate statistics, as well as requiring extensive computer programming. Estimating the likely costs involved is a considerable task, and one which I regret I cannot undertake at the moment.

(First quarter to Third quarter 1979)
£million OTS basis
Exports fobImports cifCrude balance
(a) Total trade 0–9 less crude oil(1) and Division 66(2)
Rest of the World17,94518,062-117
(b) Manufactures less Division 66(2)
Rest of the World14,84410,927+3,918
(1) Crude oil defined as SITC (Rev 2) Group 333.
(2) Full details of trade in precious stones are not available, but they form about 80 per cent. of Division 66 (non-metallic mineral manufactures) trade with EEC(8).
(3) These figures have been taken from the September edition of "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom" and include all the previously unrecorded import information.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will publish in theOfficial Reporta table showing the relative export price of British manufactures and the United Kingdom share of (a) world trade and (b) trade with non-