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UK mortgage approvals rise to four-month high in May, consumer confidence fell

Staff Writer |
UK mortgage approvals rose to a four-month high in May, according to figures released by the Bank of England on Friday.

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The number of mortgages approved increased to 64,526 last month from 62,941 in April, beating expectations for 62,200.

Meanwhile, the number of approvals for remortgaging rose by 8% to 51,000, marking the highest level since November 2017.

However, annual growth of consumer borrowing, excluding mortgages, slowed to 8.5% in May from 8.7% the month before, hitting its worst level since November 2015. The BoE said that while this growth rate remains elevated, particularly compared to 2009-12, the gradual slowing continues the downward trend in growth since late 2016.

Consumer confidence in the UK fell in June as Britons grew increasingly gloomy about the economy, according to a widely-followed survey.

GfK's long-running consumer confidence index fell two points this month to -9, missing expectations for it to remain unchanged at -7 and with all five of the key measures dropping.

Of the five key metrics, the measure for the general economic situation over the last 12 months and the one for the general economic situation over the next 12 months saw the biggest declines, each falling four points to -28 and -25, respectively.

Client strategy director Joe Staton said: "Scores on personal finance are down but there is a more marked deterioration in our levels of optimism about the general state of the economy, with the verdicts on the past year and the coming year each tumbling four points. When will the strong jobs market and low interest rates boost the economic mood? That's the key to confidence increasing more generally.

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