Plastic spending has risen but households pay off more debt
Thursday 26 January 2012
Spending on credit cards soared over Christmas, but people are still paying off more than they borrow, according to figures from the British Bankers' Association.
Shoppers spent £7.2bn on plastic in December, making 119 million purchases with their cards. The average new spending in the six months to the end of the year was £6.9bn on 115 million items.
But card repayments in December totalled £7.4bn, reducing the overall amount outstanding by £0.2bn to £35.9bn. There was a £400m rise in new spending on cards over the month an an equivalent rise in the amount repaid.
The BBA's statistics director David Dooks said: "The household sector generally is focusing on debt repayment amid inflated household expenses and a continuing air of uncertainty."
The number of mortgage approvals in the month – at 73,382 – was slightly down on the six month average of 74,161.
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