§ Mr. Pawsey
asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many copies of Form V4366 on engineering sales have been sent out by his Department; and what is the purpose of the exercise.
§ Mr. MacGregor
433 of the questionnaires given the identification code of V4366 were sent out to selected establishments in the engineering sector in November 1980. A further 289 of the questionnaires—but with the integral covering letter couched as a reminder instead of an introduction to the inquiry—were sent out to those of the original addressees who had not answered by 23 January 1981.
The prime purpose of the exercise is—as stated in the introductory letter—to obtain data to allow the Department to take into account the effects of differing valuations for sales and their related orders in the calculation of constant price index numbers. These effects arise because sales figures frequently reflect prices that differ from those quoted at the time of ordering—the usual basis for wholesale price indices.