Consumer credit “low by historical comparison”

However, once the figures are seasonally adjusted, net lending went up by £400 million, far higher than the recent monthly average of £276 million.

Annualised new borrowing on credit cards fell two per cent to £7,569 million in December, which equates to a decline of £263 million after seasonal adjustment has taken place, the BBA said.

Commenting on the two per cent annual growth in consumer credit, David Dooks, BBA director of statistics, said that it “is low by historical comparison”.

He added: “Although strong Christmas sales have been reported, our December figures suggest that spending was not fuelled by more borrowing on credit cards.”

Recent findings by the BBA show that the value of unsecured loans and overdrafts grew by £4.2 billion last year, while credit card lending fell by £1.8 billion.

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