HC Deb 19 February 1997 vol 290 c922
17. Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the percentage change in manufacturing output for (a) 1996 over 1995 and (b) 1995 over 1994. [15039]

Mr. Greg Knight

Manufacturing output was 2.2 per cent. higher in 1995 than in 1994. Last year it rose by a further 0.5 per cent. to reach its highest ever level. The CBI expects manufacturing output to grow by 3.4 per cent. this year.

Mr. Cunningham

The Minister's answer paints a rosy picture, but is he aware that, according to the Office for National Statistics, capital investment is down 16 per cent. on last year? What does he have to say about that?

Mr. Knight

I will tell the House what I have to say about that. Manufacturing output has risen by 10 per cent. since the recovery began, and manufacturing exports have risen by more than a third—to record levels—since the recovery began. The hon. Gentleman should welcome that.