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U.K. consumer lending sees biggest increase in 4.5 years

U.K. consumer lending rose at the fastest rate in more than four years in September while mortgage approvals for home purchases also exceeded projected figures.

Data from the Bank of England revealed that consumer credit in Britain increased by more than $1.9 billion last month, the biggest increase since February 2008. The results were driven by a $1.4 billion increase in bank overdrafts and loans, Reuters reports.

Mortgage lending increased by $781 million, surpassing initial predictions of $716 million.

Additionally, the Bank of England said that mortgage approvals grew from 47,921 in August to 50,024 in September, also exceeding analyst predictions of 48,500, according to Reuters.

The central bank has instituted a plan to create credit flow through U.K. households and businesses, providing inexpensive funding for banks if they continue to lend.

Additionally, the U.K.’s GDP revealed the strongest quarterly growth in five years between July and September, Reuters reports.

Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight, said that Olympic and Paralympic spending may have boosted the figures, adding that consumer confidence in the economy could help to increase GDP growth.

“If consumers are becoming more prepared to spend…then there is a real chance the economy can continue to grow following the third-quarter rebound in GDP,” Archer said, according to MoneyExpert.

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