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By David Robinson and Irene Prihoda
LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England money and credit data showed a
decline in mortgage approvals while the average interest rates paid by
borrowers remained at all time lows and unsecured credit growth
The data highlight how the rise in Bank Rate, from 0.25% to 0.75%,
has not fed through to higher interest payments for many borrowers. The
housing market overall, however, looks subdued.
The following are key points from the BOE data sets:
-The number of mortgage approvals, a good indicator of future
house purchases, fell to 62,341 in March from 65,340 in February, the
lowest reading since December 2017.
With London house prices declining and most surveys showing subdued
house price inflation elsewhere, there is plenty of evidence of a soft
-The average interest rate on the stock of fixed 3,4 and 5 year
mortgages hit posted fresh series lows in March. The average interest
rate on the stock of all fixed rate mortgages was unchanged at 2.23% for
the third consecutive month, a joint all-time low.
-Unsecured borrowing growth was very low in March, increasing by
just stg0.549 million, down from stg1.229 billion in February and the
lowest reading since November 2013.
UK consumers, in March at least, did not fuel spending through
unpaid credit card and other borrowing.
As consumer confidence remains weak these data raise questions
over whether consumption will underpin economic growth in the months
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