Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Economic Statistics on 17th May 1990.
Mr. Higgins To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, further to his statement to the Treasury and Civil Service Committee on 3 April, he can now announce his plans to improve the quality of economic statistics.
Mr. Major I have arranged for the Central Statistical Office to take further steps to improve the quality of statistics in three areas -
On services, I propose that extensions are made to quarterly inquiries of turnover in the services industries, and that more information on external trade in services is collected on a quarterly basis. On company statistics, I propose to obtain more quarterly information on capital expenditure, stock-
In addition, I have asked the CSO, in consultation with the appropriate bodies, to consider the case for wider use of statutory surveys. This should improve the quality of statistics by increasing response rates. It should also ensure that the burden on businesses is shared more fairly.