§ Mr. Freeman
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will compare the United Kingdom public sector borrowing requirement as a percentage of the gross national product over the past five fiscal years with that of the United States of America on the same statistical basis.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
Internationally comparable statistics on the public sector borrowing requirement are not available. The available statistics relate to general Government financing. On this basis, the United Kingdom deficit (as a proportion of GDP) fell from 4¼ per cent. to around 3¼ per cent. between 1978 and 1983, whilst the United States balance (as a proportion of GNP) changed from a surplus of ¼ per cent. to a deficit of 4 per cent. over the same period.