On April 19th, the UK Prime Minister easily surpassed the two-thirds parliamentary threshold required to call an early election, starting the countdown to the June 8th poll. Early polls give her party a sizeable lead and the Prime Minister will hope that the resilient performance of the economy will deliver a larger majority. Early Q1 data suggest that quarterly GDP growth was a robust +0.5% but would signal moderation from the consumer-driven 0.7% gain in Q4. Retail sales volumes were down 1.5% in the three months to February and a recent survey suggests that households are now sustaining spending by running down savings close to record lows and increasing unsecured debt.
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