HC Deb 26 January 1981 vol 997 cc321-2W
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will list the increase in (a) the volume of trade and (b) economic growth for each country within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development between 1950 and the latest year for which figures are available.

Mr. Brittan

Changes in the volume of exports and imports of goods between 1950 and 1979 for nearly all the member countries of OECD can be derived from the information published in International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1980. Within the individual country pages, index numbers of the volume of exports and imports are shown in lines 72 and 73 respectively. No details are available for Luxembourg or Portugal, while the series for Greece, Spain and Turkey do not extend back to 1950. For New Zealand, Iceland, Spain and Yugoslavia the latest year shown in the yearbook is 1978 but some information for 1979 for New Zealand and Iceland is given in the latest monthly edition of International Financial Statistics.

Estimates of economic growth on a standardised basis adjusted to international definitions are available only up to 1978. The increase since 1950 is shown in the table below for those countries for which estimates of gross domestic product at constant market prices are available. Since information back to 1950 is not available for all countries, the growth between 1954 and 1978 is also shown, 1954 being the earliest year for which data for all countries (except Yugoslavia) is available.

Gross Domestic Product at Constant Market Prices
Percentage increase
1950–1978 1950–1978
Canada 274 217
United States of America 161 128
Japan not available 613
Australia 223 182
New Zealand not available 123
Austria 286 214
Belgium not available 152
Denmark 168 142
Finland 235 171
France 266 213
German Federal Republic 321 200
Iceland 272 204
Irish Republic 148 127
Italy not available 204
Luxembbourg not available 115
Netherlands 234 179
Norway 209 162
Portugal not available 243
Spain not available 255
Sweden 144 112
Switzerland 162 120
Turkey 437 294
United Kingdom 109 87

For some purposes changes in gross domestic product over long periods of time need to be viewed against changes in population. While the population of the United Kingdom increased by about 10 per cent. between 1950 and 1978, other countries have shown much greater increases over this period, for example, Japan +37 per cent., France +28 per cent., Germany +23 per cent., Turkey +113 per cent. Figures of population are given in the IFS Yearbook, line 99Z.