The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

Chief Secretary (1987-1989)

Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on British Industry (Unit Costs) – 8 March 1989

Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on British Industry (Unit Costs) on 8th March 1989.

Mr. John Marshall To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how unit costs in British industry altered in 1988; what were the comparable changes in Japan, Canada, the United States of America and other EEC countries; and how have exchange rate movements affected the comparative unit costs of British industry relative to those countries.

Mr. Major Indices calculated by the International Monetary Fund showing unit labour costs in manufacturing in 1987 and in the first three quarters of 1988 are given in the Department of Trade and Industry publication, “Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics”, for all the countries in question except Portugal, Greece and Ireland. This publication gives unit labour cost indices in terms of country’s own currencies and also in terms of common currency showing costs relative to those in other countries, allowing for the effects of exchange rate movements.