Caution Prevails When It Comes to U.K. Corporate Borrowing

Borrowing by U.K. companies fell the most in almost three years in January, according to new figures from the banking industry.

Lending to non-financial companies dropped 1.4 percent from a year earlier, led by declines in construction and property-related sectors, lobby group UK Finance said Monday. Separate data showed mortgage approvals for house purchase declined almost 10 percent last month compared with a year earlier.

UK Finance said the figures show business “continues to err on the side of caution,” with borrowing by manufacturers rising only “modestly.”

Companies have adopted a “wait and see attitude to trading uncertainties, opting to use their deposits as buffers for spending decisions,” said UK Finance Managing Director Eric Leenders.

The figures underline the slowdown in the housing market, with mortgage approvals falling a seasonally adjusted 9.4 percent on the year to 40,117.
Source: Bloomberg