§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the reasons for the change in levels of United Kingdom output and employment in the United Kingdom consumer goods industries since 1990 and of the contribution made to this by imports; and if he will publish a table showing the change in the volume of imports, exports and home demand for consumer goods in the first quarter of 1994 compared with 1990, together with the numbers employed and his estimate of the net effect of the increase in imports on employment.
§ Mr. Eggar
It is not possible to split employment in the manufacturing industries into that which is specifically for the production of consumer goods. My Department does not make specific estimates of the impact of trade on output and employment.
The change in the volume of imports and exports in the first quarter of 1994 compared with 1990 is available from data published in the "Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics" and on the Central Statistical Office database, which are available in the Library of the House. The equivalent change for output can be taken from the index of production which is also on the Central Statistical Office database. The trade data is based on a different classification from the output data and therefore it is not possible to construct a series showing home demand for consumer goods.