§ Mr. Lawson
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will provide a table showing the present United Kingdom rate of inflation as an index number, taking the rate of inflation for the OECD as a whole to be 100; and if he will provide in that table similar comparisons for February 1974, June 1970 and October 1964.
§ Mr. Denzil Davies
Index numbers (having OECD=100) do not give a clear impression of relative rates of inflation. However, over the 12-month periods up to the dates given the following have been the percentage increases in consumer prices:
United Kingdom OECD October 1964 4.1 3.7 June 1970 5.9 2.3 February 1974 13.1 12.1 September 1977 15.6 9.1
In the six months to September 1977 prices rose by 5.6 per cent. in the United Kingdom and by 4.0 per cent. in all OECD countries taken together. The comparison over six months is affected by seasonal changes in prices, particularly of food. Excluding seasonal foods the United Kingdom Index of Retail Prices rose by 6.8 per cent. in the six months to September and by 4.8 per cent. in the six months up to October. Corresponding figures for other OECD countries are not available.
The figures shown for OECD are derived from the weighted average of the consumer price indices for 24 member countries, taking consumers' expenditure in 1970 as weights.