HC Deb 20 April 1972 vol 835 cc136-7W
Mr. Knox

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer by how much the purchasing value of the £ sterling has fallen since 1958; and, from information available from international sources, how this reduction compares with similar figures for the member countries of the European Economic Community.

Mr. Higgins

Taking the purchasing power of the £ sterling to be 100 pence in 1958, its average value in 1971 is estimated to have been 62.8 pence, a fall of 37.2 per cent. This estimate is based on the change in the Consumer Price Index over the period.

For comparison with member countries and the European Economic Community, the only published indices refer to retail prices. Figures based on these price indices, and using the General Index of Retail Prices for the whole period in the case of the United Kingdom, are shown in the following table.

Percentage fall in the purchasing power of money 1958 to 1971
United Kingdom 39.5
European Economic Community
Belgium 29.8
France 42.1
Germany 29.0
Italy 36.1
Luxembourg 26.5
Netherlands 40.8
Source: OECD Main Economic Indicators.

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