10 things you need to know about Britain's economy before you vote in May

Cameron Clegg MilibandREUTERS/Pool/John StillwellBritain’s Prime Minister David Cameron stands alongside Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and Ed Miliband of the Labour Party at a commemoration service for Afghanistan veterans.

There’s just a week to go until the UK’s general election, and the outcome has rarely been less clear so close to polling day.

The only thing that seems likely at this point is that no single party will get enough seats to govern. Until recently, Britain’s electoral system had usually returned clear majority governments, but those days seem to be over.

With questions about the economy at the centre of each party’s campaign, what are the major things you need to know about how the UK is performing?

GDP growth has been much more consistently decent since the middle of 2013, as this UBS chart shows -- though the most recent data showed an expansion of just 0.3%.

After two years of stagnation under the Coalition, employment rates began to surge in 2012, hitting record highs, as this Oxford Economics chart shows.

But this chart from Citi shows why lots of people may not be feeling the upswing -- the jobs created are overwhelmingly in sectors which are generally paid much less.

And as a result, wage growth has been very slow. In real terms (after inflation), wages have fallen for most of the last 5 years, as this chart from Rabobank shows.

Here's Credit Suisse, showing that though the UK economy as a whole reached a new peak size in 2013, services have steamed ahead, while manufacturing is well behind.

UK businesses are becoming more worried about the election, and a potential EU referendum, according to this chart from Capital Economics, using numbers from Deloitte.

Despite those concerns, BNP Paribas analysts noted that the share of British exports that go to countries in the EU has been declining.

Who wins may not matter enormously for the UK's fiscal position -- according to HSBC no party has a consistent record of being prudent.

A chart from Barclays illustrates that though spending has dropped, tax receipts have not rebounded as much, and as such the deficit is still large.

In comparison to other countries, this Goldman Sachs illustration shows that spending cuts have been middling -- and significantly lower than the US.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.