HC Deb 26 November 1968 vol 774 cc89-90W
86. Mr. Higgins

asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will give estimates of the change in United Kingdom production potential in convenient periods between 1964 and 1968, and forecasts for similar periods in 1969 and 1970.

Mr. Alan Williams

The growth of productive potential can be estimated only with considerable uncertainty. Our best estimate is that it rose on average by nearly 3½per cent. a year during 1960–66. Estimates of the growth of productive potential since then depend on the interpretation of movements in output, employment, etc., whose significance cannot yet be fully assessed and on which different observers may legitimately come to different conclusions.

The experience of this more recent period and its implications for the future rate of potential growth are among the matters to he discussed with N.E.D.C. in connection with the proposed paper on medium term economic prospects. I would not wish to give any forecast in anticipation of these discussions