§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection in the light of the estimate by the 1209W trade that food prices will rise by 10 per cent. in the autumn, what is the estimate by her Department of such rises; and to what extent this will increase the cost of living index.
§ Mr. Maclennan
If my hon. Friend is referring to weekend reports quoting a Retail Consortium estimate, the consortium has since pointed out that its estimate was for food prices to rise by 8 per cent. to 10 per cent. over the next 12 months and not, as given in the reports, in the autumn. Whilst the basis of this forecast is unknown, the estimate itself is not inconsistent with the Chancellor's inflation target. This Department does not publish forecasts of prices.