The Week in Numbers: A Hung Parliament in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom went to the polls this week. The incumbent Prime Minister’s party, the Conservatives, won 318 seats while the Labour party won 262 seats. Under the UK’s political system, a party would need 326 seats to form a majority government. To make up the numbers, Theresa May had set out her intention to form an alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which is pro-Brexit. DUP won 10 seats in all.
The European Central Bank has held European interest rates at 0%. On Thursday, it said interest rates there are expected to “remain at present levels for an extended period of time,” andadded that it would be ready to extend its quantitative easing program if required.
Moving on to Asia, South Korea’s new government announced an 11.2 trillion won (around US$10 billion) stimulus package to boost jobs and increase social welfare subsidies. This will help see President Moon Jae-in’s plan to create 810,000 public sector jobs come to fruition. South Korea’s government estimates the extra spending will boost economic growth by 0.2% for 2017, which may raise the current growth outlook for this year from the current 2.6%.
The central bank of India kept its key interest rate unchanged at 6.25%. But, the bank also cut its projection for consumer inflation to between 2% and 3.5% per cent in April to September, down from 4.5% earlier, and between 3.5% and 4.5% in October to March 2018, down from 5% earlier.