§ Mr. Oppenheim
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the latest figures for savings on both a per capita basis and as a percentage of gross national product; and what comparable figures he has for other members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
§ Mr. Lilley
The latest annual figures are for 1986, when, according to the United Kingdom national accounts, total saving (by persons, companies and Government) in the United Kingdom (after providing for stock appreciation but before providing for depreciation) amounted to £70.8 billion, or £1,247 per head of the population, or 18.7 per cent. of the gross national product.
International comparisons in money terms are difficult because of the difficulties in measuring according to some common standard, the different purchasing powers of different currencies. (Current exchange rates are not always a good guide.) The following table gives 1985 figures compiled by the OECD for gross saving as percentages of gross domestic product for each OECD country.
Gross saving as a percentage of GDP in 19851 Percentage United States 16.5 Japan 31.7 Germany 22.2 France 18.0 United Kingdom 19.2 Italy 17.7 Canada 19.0 Australia 19.3 Austria 24.4 Belgium 15.9 Denmark 14.9 Finland 23.8 Greece 12.2
Percentage Iceland 16.3 Ireland 18.1 Luxembourg 65.3 Netherlands 24.1 Norway 30.0 Portugal 23.1 Spain 21.0 Sweden 17.8 Switzerland 30.0 Turkey 18.7 New Zealand 20.9 Source: OECD Historical Abstracts (1987). 1 Gross saving by persons, companies and government before providing for depreciation but after providing for stock appreciation.