§ Mr. Lawson
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current rate of inflation, as defined by the percentage rise in the retail price index over the three months to January 1977, expressed as an annual rate.
§ Mr. Joel Barnett
21.8 per cent. The January index reflects a large part of the increases in Excise duties announced in December. So annualising the figures over the last three months produces a result which presupposes four sets of similar budgetary measures in a year.