HC Deb 21 July 1959 vol 609 cc98-9W
75. Mr. Sparks

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why, comparing 1958 with 1951, retail food prices have increased 47.5 per cent. but only 25 per cent. of consumers' expenditure upon food, comparing 1958 with 1951, is estimated to be attributable to increases in prices; and what accounts for the disparity in the two figures.

Mr. Erroll

As stated in the footnote to the table given in reply to the hon. Member's Question on 9th July, the figure of 47.5 per cent. was obtained by linking the food sub-index in the present index of retail prices with the corresponding items in the earlier interim indices. The estimate in the reply to his Question on 16th July, on the other hand, was derived from a comparison of the estimated expenditure at current prices in the years mentioned with the expenditure re-valued at constant prices. These alternative approaches cannot be expected to yield identical results, because of differences in coverage and in weights, but it is not possible in answer to a Parliamentary Question to describe all the technical differences in detail.