Belfast Telegraph

Household borrowing shrinks in March

By Vicky Clarke

Annual growth in households' borrowing using personal loans, overdrafts and credit cards shrank back to its weakest levels in more than two years in March.

Consumer credit grew by 8.6% annually in March - the lowest figure seen since November 2015, according to the Bank of England's Money and Credit report.

In February annual growth in consumer credit had stood at 9.4%.

Within consumer credit, credit card lending increased by 8.8% annually in March, while other types of non-mortgage lending grew at a slower rate of 8.4% annually.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY Item Club, said: "While March's slowdown in consumer credit growth was likely influenced significantly by retail sales and other activity being hit by the severe weather, the overall impression is that consumers have recently become more cautious in their borrowing while lenders have become warier about advancing unsecured credit."

The Bank of England's latest Credit Conditions Survey of banks and building societies recently found lenders reined in the availability of non-mortgage credit to households in the first quarter of 2018.

Belfast Telegraph

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