Labour Statistics

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th May 1987.

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Photo of Malcolm Rifkind Malcolm Rifkind Secretary of State for Scottish Office 12:00 am, 13th May 1987

Before I do, may I welcome the hon. Gentleman on his return to the House? We are all pleased to see him after his recent illness.

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's strength of feeling on this subject, but he should be aware of the substantial progress that the Scottish economy has been making, particularly over the last few months. I remind the House that the Scottish Business Survey, which was published by the Fraser of Allander Institute a few weeks ago, said: The short-term prospects for the Scottish economy have improved markedly during the opening months of 1987 with business optimism continuing to rise and the prospects of some growth in employment. Firms in all sectors expect both sales and new orders to grow over the next few months with manufacturing and construction being particularly buoyant.