§ 10. Mr. Sheldon
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has now made of the increase in gross domestic product for the current year.
§ 36. Mr. Wingfield Digby
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer at what rate the increase in the gross national product is now running in the current year.
§ Mr. Maurice Macmillan
The most recent figures of national income and expenditure show that the average estimate of gross domestic product at constant prices, after falling by about ¾ per cent. in the first quarter of 1970, rose by about 1¼ per cent. in the second quarter; this recovery is expected to continue in the second half of this year.
§ Mr. Sheldon
But since the forecast in the Budget was that the gross domestic product would expand this year by about 3½ per cent., may I take it that that is still the Government's view? Is it the hon. Gentleman's intention to continue the excellent practice adopted by my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) of publishing these annual forecasts?
§ Mr. Macmillan
If the hon. Gentleman will give me notice of the second part of his supplementary question, I will consider it. It is expected that the gross domestic product will continue to rise, but the signs of this improvement are still rather precarious and I should not like to hazard a more precise forecast than the one given in my original answer.