§ Mr. Biffen
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the degree of convergence between the English and Welsh economies based upon the statistical data provided in appendix E of the statistical supplement to the "Autumn Statement 1991" and the territorial gross domestic product data published in the regional accounts of the November 1991 issue of "Economic Trends".
§ Mr. Lamont
Simple comparisons of regional spending per head are misleading. Account needs also to be taken of a wide range of economic and social differences between the regions. Gross domestic product per head can provide162W a measure of the relative economic performances of regions of the United Kingdom although, due to the lack of regional price deflators, comparisons of regions' real rates of economic growth cannot be made. Gross domestic product per head in Wales was 82.8 per cent. of the level in England, very close to the equivalent 1980 figure of 82.4 per cent. This ratio has fluctuated a little, but has remained generally steady over the decade.