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UK Mortgage Approvals Exceed Expectations

UK home loan approvals decreased less than expected in January to the lowest in three months, data from the Bank of England showed Friday.

The number of approvals for house purchase, which is an indicator of future lending, fell to 98,994 from 102,809 in December. Economists had forecast 96,000 mortgage approvals.

Mortgage approvals eased for a second straight month.

The latest figure was well above the monthly average of 67,900 in the six months to February 2020, the bank said.

Secured lending to individuals decreased to a three-month low of GBP 5.16 billion from GBP 5.34 billion in the previous month. Economists had expected GBP 5.0 billion mortgage lending.

Consumer credit weakened and net repayments were GBP 2.4 billion in January, which was the biggest net repayment since May 2020. Economists had forecast GBP 1.9 billion.

The annual growth rate in consumer credit weakened to -8.9 percent, which was a new low since the series began in 1994.

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