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Consumer Spending

Volume 113: debated on Tuesday 26 May 1987

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19.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement concerning the current level of consumer spending.

Consumers' expenditure is forecast to grow at around 4 per cent. in real terms in 1987.

Bearing in mind that the increase in consumer expenditure has been boosted by an increase in the use of credit cards, what is the precise relationship between that increase and the velocity of circulation?

That is a topic which the hon. Gentleman might raise in the Treasury and Civil Service Select Committee rather than at Question Time.

As Opposition Members are always grumbling, and as many of us are concerned about unemployment, why on earth are they concerned about consumer spending, which reduces unemployment?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right, but it is only one of many contradictions in the Opposition's approach to economic policy at present.