HC Deb 03 November 1989 vol 159 c357W
Mr. Orme

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the balance of trade deficit.

Mr. Major

The deficit on visible trade in the third quarter of 1989 was £6.8 billion. In that quarter exports, in both value and volume terms, were at an all-time high. Excluding oil and erratics, export volumes were 8½ per cent. higher than in the third quarter of 1988. Imports in the third quarter of 1989 were also at an all-time high, but import growth has slowed down significantly since last year. As domestic demand slows further, import growth should also continue to decline.