Mortgage approvals drop

City A.M. Reporter
Mortgage approvals for house purchase fell to a seven-month low in August and net consumer credit unexpectedly contracted, official data showed.

The Bank of England said mortgage approvals numbered 47,372 in August, down from 48,346 in July and broadly in line with analysts' forecasts and a weaker industry survey last week.

Consumers unexpectedly made a net repayment of unsecured debt in August. Net consumer credit fell by £120m, the biggest drop since November 2009.

Analysts had forecast that there would be a £0.1bn rise in consumer credit lending.

Net mortgage lending on secured dwellings, which lags approvals, picked up markedly last month, rising by £1.657bn in August after an £18m increase in July.

Analysts had forecast a rise of £0.25bn.

The Bank's preferred gauge of money supply growth, M4 excluding intermediate other financial corporations, picked up to 0.8 percent on the month but the broader aggregate measure of M4 showed its weakest annual rise on record.