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Volume 979: debated on Thursday 21 February 1980

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates the rate of inflation will be on 21 May.

The latest forecast, published in December last year, is for a 14 per cent. increase in the retail prices index during the 12 months up to Q4 1980, I do not intend to elaborate on this forecast. A further forecast will be issued at the time of the Budget.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current rate of inflation.

The retail prices index rose by 18·4 per cent. in the 12 months to January 1980. This figure is distorted by the Budget tax changes, and a better guide to changes in taxpayers' costs is the tax and price index which rose by 16·1 per cent. over the same period.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the rate of inflation in the United Kingdom in each of the years since becoming a member of the European Economic Community.

The two measures most often used as indicators of inflation are the implied index of total home costs—sometimes known as the gdp deflator—and the general index of retail prices. Figures for both series are shown in the table below.

Percentage increase on preceding year
Implied index of total home costsGeneral index of retail prices
* First three quarters of 1979 compared with the corresponding period of 1978.