The UK economy’s sluggish growth shows no signs of letting up, with all three major lending classes set to grow less than two per cent this year, new figures have revealed.
Despite an uptick in real incomes, demand for consumer credit is forecast to grow just 1.6 per cent this year and two per cent in 2020, the lowest rate of growth since 2013, according to the EY Item Club.
Mortgage lending will also remain stagnant, rising less than one per cent, as consumer confidence and a lack of supply continues to hit the property market.
Meanwhile, continued uncertainty around Brexit means business lending is expected to grow only 1.3 per cent this year, as businesses hit pause on major investment plans.
The sluggish forecast across lending classes is a best-case scenario based on a Brexit deal being reached by 31 October. Growth would be even lower if the UK were to crash out of the EU without a deal, according to EY.
“The weak economic outlook continues to hold back demand for lending,” said Omar Ali, EY’s UK financial services managing partner.
“It’s been a similar story for over a decade now and there’s little improvement in sight. Since the financial crisis, the expectation was that the economy would return to higher growth after a short period of sluggishness – this has never materialised and is not forecast to happen any time soon.”
It comes amid a slowdown in growth across the wider UK economy, which grew 1.4 per cent last year, its slowest rate since 2009. GDP growth is forecast for just 1.3 per cent this year, rising marginally to 1.5 per cent in 2020.