Lending figures add gloom to concerns about UK economy
The Bank of England said today that net lending to British business is still falling.
The annual rate of growth in the stock of loans to firms was negative in the three months to February according to the Bank. And despite the Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme, designed to increase the availability of loans, mortgage approvals for house purchase also fell slightly over the three-month period.
The figures come amid swelling concern about the economy. International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde yesterday described the UK’s outlook as “not particularly good”. The Fund has downgraded its growth forecasts for the UK in 2013 to 0.7% and told George Osborne to consider slowing spending cuts. Incoming Bank of England Governor Mark Carney bracketed the UK in a group of “crisis economies”.
Next Thursday the Office for National Statistics will release its first estimate for GDP growth in the first quarter of 2013.
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