§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will give the trend in commodity prices during the past year; what percentage of total increments in prices has been due to the upward thrust in the commodity markets; and what percentage is attributable to sterling depreciation against the dollar.
§ Mr. Meacher
A general indication of commodity price movements is provided byThe Economist "World Commodity Price Index". Between April 1975 and April 1976 it increased in sterling terms by about 39 per cent., and in dollar terms by about 8 per cent. The purchasing power of sterling depreciated against the US dollar by 28 per cent. over the same period. It is not meaningful to express either the world market movements—in 349W dollars—or the effect of sterling depreciation as A percentage of the overall change in sterling prices.