While Australians remain cautious about their pocketbooks, many more consumers are willing to take on extra debt to purchase big-ticket items, though some consumers remain leery about other types of debt.
Data from Veda’s consumer credit index revealed that Australian demand for credit rose 4.1 percent in 2012 up until December, which indicates an increase in borrowing, Yahoo reports.
“Consumer credit is showing a solid pace in growth for the first time in over a year,” Angus Luffman, the general manager of consumer risk at Veda, said, according to Yahoo. “We saw the credit trend move upwards through the December quarter, which was all driven by personal loans, suggesting that Australian consumers were feeling good enough to borrow for some bigger-ticket purchases. The continuing weakness in credit cards and mortgage enquiries still indicates that the attitude of consumers towards borrowing is still broadly one of caution.”
The data also revealed that the number of credit card applications declined by two percent, except in Western Australia, while personal loan applications increased across all Australian states by 10 percent. Luffman said, however, that a less-than-favorable analyses of mortgage results revealed that Australia’s housing market faces an uphill climb.
“There is little evidence in the latest Veda data that the [Reserve Bank of Australia] rate cuts are having much effect in reigniting housing turnover,” Luffman said, Yahoo reports.
Another survey by Dun & Bradstreet on consumer credit expectations revealed that only 18 percent of Australians intend to accrue more debt in the first quarter of 2013, a decrease from 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 26 percent in the third quarter of 2012.