Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Manufacturing (Operating Surplus) on 10th November 1988.
Mr. Austin Mitchell To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the net operating surplus in manufacturing fell in 1980 and 1981; whether he will publish in the Official Report tables showing the estimated gross and net operating surpluses as a percentage of, respectively, gross and net added value in (a) manufacturing and (b) industry plus transport and communication for 1987 and his tentative forecast for 1988 on the same basis as in tables 7.1 to 7.4 of the “Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Historical Statistics 1960-1986”; and to what extent the improvement in the net operating surplus in manufacturing is due to an increase in the return on overseas investment.
Mr. Major Movements in the net operating surplus in manufacturing depend on a number of complex factors. But in 1987 the net rate of return on capital employed was the highest for almost 20 years. And as paragraph 33 of the Industry Act forecast published with my right hon. Friend’s recent autumn statement revealed, net rates of return are expected to improve further in 1988. The national income and expenditure Blue Book 1988 provides further data on the manufacturing industry.