§ Mr. Atkins
In April 1988 manufacturing output was at a level of 114.8, based on 1980 equal to 100. This is 2 per cent. more than the level of 112.6 for April 1973. But my264W hon. Friend will appreciate that monthly data can be erratic. A firmer basis for comparison would be that in the three months to April 1988 manufacturing output was broadly unchanged from the same period in 1973 though over 21 per cent. higher than in the trough of the recession in 1981.