HC Deb 01 March 1955 vol 537 cc240-1W
56. Mr. Warbey

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what, over the 12 months period to 31st December, 1954,was the percentage increase or decrease in the real wages of insured workers, of national production and of personal consumption, respectively.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Between December, 1953, and December, 1954,wage rates rose by just over 4 per cent. and the Interim Index of Retail Prices by 4 per cent.; real wage rates were therefore little changed. I should however point out that between the full years 1953 and 1954 real wage rates rose by about 2 per cent. and that the rise in average earnings of wage earners was greater than the rise in wage rates. The index of industrial production is provisionally estimated as 5 per cent. higher in the fourth quarter of 1954 than in the fourth quarter of 1953. No estimate is yet available for consumers' expenditure in the fourth quarter of 1954, but in the third quarter of 1954 consumers' expenditure at 1948 prices was 3½per cent. greater than in the third quarter of 1953.