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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-UK mortgages hit 13 year-high but consumers curb other borrowing

Tue, 29th Sep 2020 10:06

(Corrects month of net mortgage lending data to August)

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - British mortgage approvals hit
their highest in almost 13 years in August, underscoring the
scale of the post-lockdown bounce-back in the housing market,
but consumers turned more cautious about day-to-day borrowing,
Bank of England data showed.

Mortgage approvals jumped to 84,700 from 66,300 in July,
hitting their highest level since October 2007.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected about 71,000
approvals.

Mortgage lending rose by a weaker-than-expected 3.1 billion
pounds ($4.0 billion) in August.

But consumer borrowing - a key driver of economic growth -
increased by only around 300 million pounds in August from July
compared with a median forecast for a 1.45 billion pound
increase in the Reuters poll.

Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at insurer
Aviva, said many households were likely to start saving more in
anticipation of further economic turmoil caused by the
reintroduction of stricter local lockdown measures.

"This will dent consumer spending, which will curb the UK’s
economic recovery.”

Compared with August last year, consumer borrowing sank by
3.9%, the sharpest fall since the BoE began measuring the data
in 1994.
($1 = 0.7769 pounds)
(Reporting by William Schomberg and David Milliken)

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