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Imports

Volume 975: debated on Tuesday 11 December 1979

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what had been the marginal propensity to import during each of the last 20 years.

[pursuant to his reply, 7 December 1979, c. 401]: There is no satisfactory way of defining or measuring what the marginal propensity to import has been in a particular year. Imports will be affected by other factors, such as changes in price and non-price competitiveness, and not by changes in expenditure or income alone.The table below shows changes in total final expenditure and in imports of goods and services for each of the last 20 years. As is apparent, the relationship between them fluctuates widely, and indeed there were two years in which the series moved in opposite directions.

£ million 1975 prices
Change in total final expenditure (1)Change in imports of goods and services(2)(2) as a percentage of (1)
1959+3,471+89126
1960+4,829+1,70035
1961+2,329-116n.a.
1962+906+33137
1963+3,666+72820
1964+5,546+1,75132
1965+2,138+1708
1966+2,222+46921
1967+3,470+1,33939
1968+5,099+1,54530
1969+1,974+71436
1970+3,285+1,21337
1971+3,735+1,16331
1972+4,597+2,45753
1973+10,989+3,26430
1974-1,336+266n.a.
1975-3,297-2,30070
1976+5,032+1,16623
1977+1,665+22113
1978+4,644+1,22126
1959–78+64,964+18,19328