Economic Forecasts

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th July 1967.

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Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus 12:00 am, 18th July 1967

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now publish a revised short-term economic forecast in the light of the failure of exports to rise and unemployment to stabilise as previously forecast.

Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus

Will the Chancellor subscribe to the philosophical proposition that the combination of stagnating exports, rising imports and rising unemployment suggests a prima facie case for adjustment of the exchange rate? If not, what condition would he regard as indicating the need for devaluation?

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee, Treasurer, Labour Party

I see no occasion—if the hon. Gentleman is hinting that we should devalue—for the British £ to be devalued. The slackening in exports at the moment is not due to any result of failure of competitive power on the part of the British economy but to slowing down in the growth of world trade, particularly in Germany and the United States. I am glad to say that my current discussions with the Finance Ministers in London show that they believe that there is an indication that trade in both their countries is likely to resume a faster pace towards the end of this year.