UK election sparring begins in earnest, but the real issue is tackling productivity

The UK's general election campaign officially kicked off last week and it is no surprise that markets woke up to the ensuing political discourse: the UK equity market underperformed the major markets, losing 0.7 per cent. The decline came in spite of relatively sanguine economic reports, including a modest upward revision to fourth quarter GDP, consumer confidence reaching its highest level for almost 13 years and solid manufacturing data.