Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on the Trade Balance on 1st December 1988.
Mr. Andrew Smith To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he estimates that the annual balance of trade will next be in surplus.
Mr. Major The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which is available in the House of Commons Library, provided forecasts of visible trade for 1988 and 1989. Forecasts for later years are not published.
Ms. Quin To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of the current level of interest rates on the prospects for Britain’s balance of trade in manufactured goods.
Mr. Major The rise in interest rates since the summer will act to slow the growth of domestic demand. This will, in time, reduce the growth of manufactured imports and thereby help to improve the balance of trade in manufactured goods.