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Economic Growth Forecasts

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

I am on a roll. The Chancellor and the Prime Minister have regular discussions on a range of issues, including the prospects for the UK economy.

It would be good if the country was on a roll, too. Exports are absolutely vital for our future economic growth, so why during the Government’s stewardship has the UK’s share of world trade fallen by 31 per cent., when Germany’s has gone up by 5 per cent.?

My right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary says that the hon. Gentleman might have noticed the rise of India and China over the past 10 to 15 years, which probably explains why the UK has slipped down to being the sixth largest manufacturing nation in the world. However, we are still the second largest exporter of services, and our manufacturing performance is strong. I believe that it will become stronger over the next 12 months to two years, and a competitive exchange rate will help a great deal.