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By DEREK H ALDCROFT

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A high level of investment means much new plant, equipment and buildings, a lowering of the average age of the capital stock, and more power, on average, at the worker's elbow. When the results of government policy are examined it is seen that we have ultimately emerged successfully from each successive crisis although specific anticipated effects in particular sectors hardly seem to have been completely achieved. For example, the stagnation years when government policy was designed to encourage exports turned out to be most depressing in export performance.

Also the industries with the most impressive productivity records are the rapid growers; chemicals, motor vehicles, electricity supply, etc. The implications of the observed correlation between rates of output and productivity growth will be discussed below. It is possibly the crucial issue. There is, however, a multitude offactors which affect productivity levels and changes, by no means all or even most of them quanti" tatively measurable. It is, then, almost impossible to test the various hypotheses which can be put forward to explain the behaviour observed.

Indeed a policy of holding back home demand since it causes spare capacity is likely to tend to raise costs. Particularly has this proved to be so since the measures of restraint have affected investment just as much as consumption. From the viewpoint of cost reduction investment is vital. A high level of investment means much new plant, equipment and buildings, a lowering of the average age of the capital stock, and more power, on average, at the worker's elbow. When the results of government policy are examined it is seen that we have ultimately emerged successfully from each successive crisis although specific anticipated effects in particular sectors hardly seem to have been completely achieved.

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