§ Mr. Gould
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what evidence he has that 57W firms now find it profitable to invest in new capacity to meet export demand, as opposed to finding it more profitable to sell abroad goods produced from within existing capacity and for which there is no demand in the home market.
§ Mr. Denzil Davies
The prospects are for little growth in the level of consumer expenditure, and yet surveys of investment intentions suggest that there will be an increase in manufacturing investment in the second half of this year and a rise of between 15 and 20 per cent. in 1977. Since the prospects for exports look so much more attractive than the prospects for home sales, the conclusion
December 1975 on December 1974 Per cent. Latest available month on December 1975 Per cent. Hourly wage rates (all manual workers) +29.3 +9.4 (September Average earnings (all employees) +20.9 +7.2 (August) Wages and salaries per unit of output* +22.8 +2.7 (June) Sterling export unit value indices of manufactures (overseas trade statistics basis) + 19.3 + 18.8 (September) Sterling import unit value indices of manufactures (overseas trade statistics basis) + 12.2 +20.7 (September) * Unit labour costs, which include employer's National Insurance contributions etc., are available only on an annual basis. Comparing 1975 and 1974 as a whole, unit labour costs rose by 33.7 per cent, while wages and salaries per unit of output rose by 32.4 per cent.