§ Mr. Denzil Davies
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the percentage growth of money gross domestic product over the last six available months.
§ Mr. Lawson
Monthly figures of the gross domestic product—GDP—are not available. The latest figures available relate to the third quarter of 1979 and are given in the table below, together with figures for the first two quarters of 1979. Between the first and third 513W quarters of the year GDP increased by 12½ per cent. at market prices and 11 per cent. at factor cost. The first quarter, however, was distorted by adverse weather conditions and industrial disputes, particularly in the road haulage industry. There was some recovery from these effects in the second quarter, which was also boosted by increased consumer spending ahead of the Budget increase in VAT rates. An alternative estimate of the underlying growth is given by taking an average of the first and second quarters, which reduces the effects of the distortions in the period. Comparing the third quarter with this average the half-yearly rate of growth in GDPwas 11½ per cent. at market prices and 9 per cent. at factor cost.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (EXPENDITURE-BASED) £ million—Seasonally adjusted Current market prices Current factor cost 1979— First quarter 41,928 36,353 Second quarter 45,224 39,274 Third quarter 47,196 40,298 Source: Economic Trends, January 1980.