What is the state of the UK economy as the election looms?

Official data has revealed higher Government debt levels and increased retail sales amid a focus on the UK economy in the run up to the General Election. On Friday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) delivered its final monthly updates for key economic measures before polling day on July 4. Labour and the Conservatives have vowed to strengthen the UK’s finances in the coming years. Here, the PA news agency looks at the current state of the economy and the challenges facing the next government: – Economic growth The UK economy has recorded an improvement since the start of the year but saw no growth in April in the face of wet weather, the ONS said earlier this month. The stagnation, which was largely in line with economist projections, came after a 0.4% increase in March. March’s growth contributed a 0.6% increase in UK gross domestic product (GDP) over the first quarter of the year, although the ONS will reveal its confirmed data for the quarter next Friday. Strength in the retail, transport and haulage sectors all helped drive recent growth, although there was some weakness in the construction industry. The Prime Minister and Chancellor cheered the quarterly increase, which...

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