§ Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the measures he is taking to endeavour to reduce the United Kingdom balance of payments deficit.
§ Mr. Portillo
The Government can best assist traders by keeping inflation and interest rates low. Inflation is now at its lowest level for 25 years and below the European Community average. Interest rates are the lowest for 15 years, and are the lowest in the European Community. The extra support for the Export Credits Guarantee Department announced in the autumn statement will also benefit many exporters.
The success of this approach is demonstrated by the number of overseas investors choosing to locate here. In 1991 the United Kingdom had over 40 per cent. of the stock of Japanese inward investment to the EC.207W
§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the net balance of trade in manufactured goods in the last month for which figures are available.
§ Mr. Nelson
The balance of trade in manufactured goods for December 1992 was published by the Central Statistical Office in the "UK Balance of Payments—Current Account in December" press notice which was published on 28 January 1993, copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library. The information is also available on the Central Statistical Office database which may be accessed by the House of Commons Library.