Three surveys add to recovery hopes: Spending plans and credit demand up

HOPES that the UK economic recovery can be sustained receive a boost this morning from three separate surveys showing further improvements in consumer spending plans and demand for credit.

PA Cambridge Economic Consultants reports in its quarterly economic survey that plans to buy cars, brown goods and furniture have all shown a significant increase in the past three months.

More than 9 per cent of households surveyed said they planned to buy a house or flat in the next year compared with 6.6 per cent in March. Plans to buy common household goods showed a further increase.

The consultants' index of consumer confidence rose from 75.2 in March to 78.4 in its latest survey, reflecting an improvement in employment expectations partly offset by lack of confidence in the Government's handling of the economy. The survey was taken before the recent cabinet reshuffle.

According to the Finance and Leasing Association, consumer credit in April rose by 20 per cent to pounds 1.04bn.

Personal loans from the association's members jumped by 38 per cent and retail store credit also advanced, with store cards up by 6 per cent and instalment credit granted rising by 32 per cent. Loans by members for car purchases rose by 30 per cent in April, reflecting a 38 per cent jump in new car credit and a 24 per cent rise for used cars.

By contrast demand for loans from business customers remains subdued, with commercial car loans down by 7 per cent and leasing and hire purchase credit flat.

Infolink, the credit information company, said April showed year-on- year increases in demand of 9.2 per cent for new car loans and 1.2 per cent for home loans by specialist and centralised lenders.

BRUSSELS - Kenneth Clarke, who makes his first visit to Brussels as Chancellor of the Exchequer today, will battle to secure the pre-eminence of London's art auction houses, writes Sarah Lambert.

But a packed agenda for the meeting of EC finance ministers means he will not be called upon to defend Britain's plans to curb the EC's budget deficit and achieve progress on stage two of European monetary union.

Instead he will support a Danish compromise on the VAT treatment of second-hand and saleroom goods.

The ministers will also discuss attempts to modify plans for an EC-wide carbon tax.

The EC's seventh VAT directive is likely to be signed today after years of wrangling. Britain has conceded the principle that it will have to charge VAT on art imports, now zero-rated.

But a compromise suggested by the Danish presidency proposed setting the tariff at 3 per cent compared with the 5 per cent-plus charged elsewhere in the EC. Mr Clarke is expected to try to whittle that down further.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat