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Economic Growth Forecasts

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 16th March 2010.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 2:30 pm, 16th March 2010

What recent discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on forecasts for economic growth.

Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Economic Secretary, HM Treasury

I am on a roll. The Chancellor and the Prime Minister have regular discussions on a range of issues, including the prospects for the UK economy.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

It would be good if the country was on a roll, too. Exports are absolutely vital for our future economic growth, so why during the Government's stewardship has the UK's share of world trade fallen by 31 per cent., when Germany's has gone up by 5 per cent.?

Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Economic Secretary, HM Treasury

My right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary says that the hon. Gentleman might have noticed the rise of India and China over the past 10 to 15 years, which probably explains why the UK has slipped down to being the sixth largest manufacturing nation in the world. However, we are still the second largest exporter of services, and our manufacturing performance is strong. I believe that it will become stronger over the next 12 months to two years, and a competitive exchange rate will help a great deal.