Growth in UK consumer borrowing through rises

Alex Hawkes, Financial Mail on Sunday

Consumer borrowing grew at almost 10 per cent in August, official figures are expected to show on Friday.

The consultancy Capital Economics has said in a note to clients: ‘We expect annual growth in consumer credit of 9.7 per cent in August, down from a peak of 10.9 per cent last year. That would be consistent with a monthly rise in unsecured lending to individuals of about £1.3 billion.’

Britons have been borrowing heavily through personal loans and credit cards over the last 18 months. 

Big spenders: Consumer borrowing grew at almost 10 per cent in August

Big spenders: Consumer borrowing grew at almost 10 per cent in August

Now the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee is widely expected to rein in rampant unsecured lending tomorrow by raising bank capital requirements for those most active in the market.

Separate figures out on Friday will show the UK is still running a large current account deficit, a measure of Britain’s trade position. 

Consensus forecasts suggest the ONS will say the current account deficit stood at £16 billion in the second quarter of the year, slightly down on the £16.9 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

The collapse in sterling has failed to boost net trade over the last year, with imports rising as well as exports.

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