asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the growth of indebtedness of manufacturing industry since May 1979, absolutely and as a percentage of sales, and the proportion held in different classes of debt.
The only recent figures available for manufacturing industry relate to oustanding bank advances and acceptances, which have increased from £13,299 million in May 1979 to £17,624 million in May 1981. Using approximate sales figures, these amounts are equivalent to about 30 per cent. and about 40 per cent. of sales in the second quarter of 1979 and 1981 respectively. These figures cover companies, public corporations and unincorporated businesses.For all industrial and commercial companies, estimates for 1980 are that bank advances accounted for 76 per cent. of gross debt, debentures and loan stock for 20 per cent. and preference shares for 4 per cent. Bank advances account for the bulk of the advances plus acceptances given above for manufacturing industry.