§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects manufacturing output in both volume and real terms value to exceed the 1979 levels.
§ Mr. Butcher
Manufacturing output rose 1.5 per cent. in the three months to November 1984 to a level about 3 per cent. higher than a year earlier. On the latest data, output is now 8.5 per cent. above its low point in 1981 Q1 but still 8 per cent. below its level in 1979. The prospects for continuing growth are encouraging. CBI survey results suggest continued growth in manufacturing output and investment. The 1979 level of output will be surpassed in due course. Within manufacturing, output of the electrical engineering and chemical sectors is already well above their respective 1979 levels.