Below is the text of Mr Major’s response on Manufacturing Output on 8th June 1989 in the House of Commons.
Mr. Ward To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the annual rate of growth of manufacturing output over the last two years.
Mr. Major In the two years to the first quarter of this year, manufacturing output grew at an average annual rate of 7.1 per cent.
Mr. Ward Does my right hon. Friend agree that the news about investment in manufacturing that we have just heard is good news for tomorrow? However, the answer that he has just given indicates that the supply side boom, which the Government have been working for, is with us today.
Mr. Major My hon. Friend is right. The strength of manufacturing output shows clearly that the supply side changes of recent years are working. My hon. Friend will be pleased to know that the levels of investment that we have seen recently will ensure that that continues.
Mr. Mullin In view of the lavish claims being made about the level of manufacturing investment, will the Chancellor have another go at explaining the figures that I put to him yesterday – that according to the latest figures from the Department of Trade and Industry, manufacturing investment in the north-east stands now at 53 per cent. of what it did in 1979?
Mr. Major That relates to manufacturing output. In fact, manufacturing investment has risen by 14½ per cent. in the last year to a record level.