§ Sir H. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors have resulted in the expenditure on gross fixed investment in public authorities in 1957–58 amounting to £1,425 million, as compared with the estimate of £1,500 million made in September 1957, and the estimate of £1,502 million for the year 1957, as indicated in the National Income Blue Book.
Prices paid by public authorities for capital goods rose at a slower rate in 1957 than had been expected. This accounts for about half the difference between the present estimate of the out-turn and the forecast made by my predecessor a year ago. The remainder of the difference is due mainly to the fact that the rate of miscellaneous investment expenditure by local authorities did not in the event rise as fast that year as had been expected.
The coverage of these figures differs from those used in the National Income Blue Book in several important respects; the figure which I used referred to the financial year, whereas the National Income Blue Book deals with the calendar year. Moreover, the latter includes a number of items excluded from my estimates, notably, investment in Northern Ireland, the purchase of land and buildings and the investment by that part of the steel industry which is not yet denationalised.