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Volume 175: debated on Thursday 5 July 1990

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any plans to meet his Economic Community counterparts, to discuss a common method to determine the inflation rate of each member state.

My right hon. Friend has no plans to do so at present. The practices followed in compiling consumer price indices vary between Community countries. The United Kingdom regularly joins in discussions with other members with a view to understanding the differences in methodology. When changes in the retail prices index have been proposed they have always been considered by the RPI advisory committee and due account taken then of practice elsewhere.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the current rate of inflation.

The all-items RPI inflation rate was 9.7 per cent. in May. Underlying inflation, as measured by the RPI excluding mortgage interest payments and community charge, was 7.0 per cent.