§ 21. Mr. Greenway
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest rate of inflation; how the average annual inflation rate since May 1979 compares with the previous equivalent period; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
Over the 12 months to May 1983, the retail prices index increased by 3.7 per cent. The annual average rate of inflation between May 1979 and May. 1983 was 11.5 per cent, compared with an annual average increase of 15.4 per cent. between February 1974 and May 1979, the last period of Labour Government.
§ Mr. Haynes
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a forecast for inflation for the end of 1983 on a basis consistent with that contained in the 1983 financial statement and Budget report.
§ Mr. Lawson
The forecast published in the 1983 financial statement and Budget report was for RPI inflation of 6 per cent. in the year to the fourth quarter of 1983. As170W I said in the debate on the address, there may be a temporary rise to between 5 and 6 per cent. by the end of the year, but this will not herald a sudden resurgence of inflation. The underlying trend has been firmly downwards since 1980 and we intend to keep it that way.