HC Deb 01 March 1955 vol 537 c257W
111. Mr. Lee

asked the President of the Board of Trade the cost to Britain, in terms of sterling, of the 6 per cent. deterioration in the terms of trade which took place during the year ended January, 1955; and to what extent this loss cancelled out the increase in our exports.

Mr. Low

The deterioration of 6 per cent. in the terms of trade took place between January, 1954, and January,1955. In the 12 months ended January, 1955, the terms of trade were between 2 and 3 per cent. worse on average than in January, 1954. If the terms of trade had remained unchanged during this year the excess of imports (c.i.f.) over exports and re-exports (f.o.b.) would have been about £90m. less. No useful measure can be made of the gain in our earnings from exports during the period.