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Company Assets And Liabilities

Volume 978: debated on Tuesday 12 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for (a) manufacturing and (b) non-manufacturing companies the ratio of current assets to current liabilities for each year since 1970 and for 1979 to the latest date.

Figures of current assets and liabilities for manufacturing and non-manufacturing companies separately are available only from my Department's quarterly survey of company liquidity. In this survey information is collected directly from about 220 large companies on assets and liabilities in the United Kingdom which can be realised or are due to be paid within 12 months. The results for survey companies may not be representative of companies in general. The figures are given in the following table.Figures for the fourth quarter of 1979 will be published in "British Business" 7 March 1980. To enable comparisons over the whole period, the figures have been adjusted to form a continuous series and may not therefore agree exactly with those in published articles. The definition of current assets used excludes stocks.

LIQUIDITY RATIOS
(total current assets as percentage of total current liabilities)
(Seasonally adjusted)
End of periodManufacturing companiesNon-manufacturing companies
197030116
197158110
197299113
197384101
19743085
19756997
19768783
1977109123
1978110146
1979
First quarter88114
Second quarter96123
Third quarter87101
Source: Department of Industry's quarterly Survey of Company Liquidity.
Total current assets=deposits with banks' finance houses and building societies, negotiable certificates of deposit, British Government securities, local authority bills, temporary money, mortgages and loans, tax instruments, Treasury bills, notes and coins.
Total current liabilities=advances and loans from banks and other financial institutions with an initial loan term of not more than 12 months.