§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for (a) manufacturing and (b) non-manufacturing companies the ratio of current assets to current liabilities for each year since 1970 and for 1979 to the latest date.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
Figures of current assets and liabilities for manufacturing and non-manufacturing companies separately are available only from my Department's quarterly survey of company liquidity. In this survey information is collected directly from about 220 large companies on assets and liabilities in the United Kingdom which can be realised or are due to be paid 577W within 12 months. The results for survey companies may not be representative of companies in general. The figures are given in the following table.
Figures for the fourth quarter of 1979 will be published in "British Business" 7 March 1980. To enable comparisons over the whole period, the figures have been adjusted to form a continuous series and may not therefore agree exactly with those in published articles. The definition of current assets used excludes stocks.
LIQUIDITY RATIOS (total current assets as percentage of total current liabilities) (Seasonally adjusted) End of period Manufacturing companies Non-manufacturing companies 1970 30 116 1971 58 110 1972 99 113 1973 84 101 1974 30 85 1975 69 97 1976 87 83 1977 109 123 1978 110 146 1979 First quarter 88 114 Second quarter 96 123 Third quarter 87 101 Source: Department of Industry's quarterly Survey of Company Liquidity. Total current assets=deposits with banks' finance houses and building societies, negotiable certificates of deposit, British Government securities, local authority bills, temporary money, mortgages and loans, tax instruments, Treasury bills, notes and coins. Total current liabilities=advances and loans from banks and other financial institutions with an initial loan term of not more than 12 months.