...at a faster pace than previously estimated in the fourth quarter as services output jumped, providing a boost for Prime Minister Gordon Brown as he prepares for a general election within weeks.
Brown is seeking to persuade voters his Labour government has the best policies to cement the recovery. The Conservatives’ poll lead has narrowed to as little as six percentage points as ministers argue that David Cameron’s plan to cut spending this year risks plunging the economy into a “double-dip” recession.
While Brown has until June to hold the election, Labour Party documents point to a vote to coincide with local authority polls on May 6 -- less than two weeks after the statistics office publishes its preliminary estimate of first-quarter GDP.
Keep an eye on what happens in Britain this spring. It could provide clues to our own elections this fall. If Brown and Labor do better than expected, it could auger well for the Democrats.