Consumer borrowing on the increase

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The Independent Online
CONSUMERS borrowed pounds 232m more than they paid off on bank credit cards, hire purchase and building society loans in March, the Central Statistical Office said yesterday. That was the largest increase in nearly two years and is further evidence that economic recovery is under way.

The unexpectedly buoyant credit figures suggest that consumers are increasingly willing to finance their spending by borrowing, with credit established on an upward trend since the middle of last year. However, the pound had its worst day for more than 10 weeks on fears that the Prime Minister would demand another cut in interest rates to boost the Government's popularity.

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