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Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the investment figure for United Kingdom business for the last year for which figures are available; if he will express the figure as a percentage of gross domestic product; and if he will make a statement.

The level of business investment in 1988 is estimated to have been £58 billion. This was 14·7 per cent. of GDP at factor cost. Total business investment was forecast in the Autumn Statement to increase in real terms by 9¼ per cent. in 1989. As a share of GDP this year it is likely to be the highest ever.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what contribution the increase in investment in manufacturing industry made to the increase in the trade deficit in 1988 and in 1989 to date.

It is not possible to make a precise estimate of the contribution of the increase in manufacturing investment to the increase in the trade deficit. However, with the Autumn Statement forecast of a 9¼ per cent. rise in 1989, business investment will have increased by over 40 per cent. in the three years to 1989—the largest increase over a three-year period since the war.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the inward and outward investment flows for each of the last five years between the United Kingdom and (a) the United States of America, (b) Japan, (c) West Germany and (d) France.

The available information relates to net outward and net inward direct investment flows and is published in tables 1·4 and 2·4 of Business Monitor MA4 1987—"Overseas Transactions". Information on portfolio investment, by country, is not available.