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Friday, 9 December 1983
Page: 3606

Senator COOK —My question, which is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate, is again a good news question and I would ask Senator Chaney not to piggyback if he would not mind. I ask: Is it true that, according to the statement of national accounts issued yesterday, the implicit non-farm product deflator has increased by only 6.7 per cent on a September to September basis, or less than half the rise of a year earlier? Does the Minister agree with a comment in parenthesis in a report in today's Age that the non-farm gross domestic product deflator is 'a much broader and reliable method of measuring price rises than the consumer price index'? Does this mean that there has been a remarkable fall in real inflation, consistent with the Government's policy of fighting inflation and unemployment simultaneously?

Senator Sir John Carrick —Tell Mrs Dolan that.

Senator BUTTON —I am invited to tell Mrs Dolan something as well as answer the question.

The PRESIDENT —Order! I am trying to ensure that as many questions as possible can be asked and answered in the short time available. I ask the Leader of the Government to answer Senator Cook's question.

Senator BUTTON —Yes, I agree with the question. As I said yesterday, a legitimate conclusion, on examination of the national accounts figures published yesterday is that all the broadly based measures of inflation show a substantial and significant improvement.