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To the extent that the deficit reflects rapid demand growth from both industry and consumers, it will correct itself in time. We have always said that the current account would be among the last indicator to turn round.
Mr. Allen : If there is such a massive increase in manufacturing productivity, why are we importing capital equipment to feed the boom that the Minister is saying will come on stream? Why are we not using our own manufactures?
Mr. Ryder : The vast majority of manufactured goods that enter this country are for investment and production purposes and do not go into direct consumption. That is the answer to the hon. Gentleman's question.
A remarkable transformation has taken place in Britain's fortunes over the last 10 years. We have overcome problems before and we shall do so again. This Government have reversed the remorseless decline in the fortunes of the British economy. The British people are more prosperous than ever and British business is investing more in the future than ever before. These successes, and countless others, could only have been achieved under a Conservative Government. They can only be wrecked by Labour.
Question put and agreed to.
Adjourned accordingly at twenty-nine minutes pastTen o'clock.
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