LONDON (Reuters) – British shoppers borrowed on their credit cards at the slowest annual rate in more than four years last month, raising the prospect that previously solid consumer demand will weaken, figures from industry body UK Finance showed on Wednesday.
Credit card lending by major banks slowed to an annual growth rate of 3.3% in August from 3.8% in July, the slowest rate since February 2015.
Net mortgage approvals for house purchase dropped to 42,576 in August on a seasonally adjusted basis from 43,303 in July, though this is still 9% higher than mortgage approvals a year earlier on this measure.
Moreover, the total number of mortgages approved – which includes refinancing of existing home loans and other lending secured on property – rose to its highest since December 2016 at 83,332.
Net mortgage lending – which tends to lag approvals – jumped to 3.646 billion pounds from 2.666 billion pounds, its highest since March 2016.