Consumer borrowing on the up

24 February 2005
New research by independent market analysts Datamonitor reveals that consumer borrowing has risen significantly.

Datamonitor found that borrowing via credit cards, motor and retail finance deals, overdrafts and unsecured personal loans has risen to £4,004 per average UK adult at the end of 2004.

This constitutes an increase of ten per cent on the previous year's levels and a huge increase of 45 per cent since 2000.

It provides convincing evidence that the consumer credit market is continuing to grow at a healthy speed, despite several interest rate increases and feelings of uncertainty about the current state of the housing market.

"One of the major reasons behind this strong performance is the fact that the majority of bad debt indicators, such as unemployment, records of mortgage arrears and repossessions and county court judgments remain at their historically low levels," says Oksana Selezneva, a financial services analyst at Datamonitor and author of the report.

"This has given consumers the confidence to keep on borrowing and the ability to cope with their debt repayments relatively well."

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