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Mortgage approvals rise

MORTGAGE approvals jumped in June to their highest level in more than a year but consumer lending remained very weak, recording the smallest rise on record, according to Bank of England data released yesterday.<br /><br />The Bank of England said that home loan approvals for new house purchase rose to 47,584 from 44,169 in May, which was more than analysts had expected.<br /><br />Easing credit conditions as well as markedly higher buyer interest were seen as the main contributors to the 14-month high in home loan approvals, but economists were wary about calling the bottom.<br /><br />The Bank also reported that the value of total mortgage lending remained unchanged on May at &pound;0.3bn, compared to consensus expectations of a rise to &pound;0.6bn.<br /><br />ING&rsquo;s James Knightley said: &ldquo;There are some signs of improvement but this is very modest.&rdquo;