UK consumers rising despite Brexit fears

January saw increased borrowing by British households, indicating that private individuals in the UK have more confidence in the economy than businesses, according to Reuters.

The month saw the largest number of mortgages approved for house purchase than any forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, reaching 66,766 in January. In December the figure was 64,468.

In the same period, consumer borrowing increased almost £1.1bn, also exceeding the predictions of the Reuters poll.

The annual growth rate in unsecured consumer lending was reduced to 6.5%, the weakest level in four years, according to figures from the Bank of England.

The economy of the UK has slowed sharply in anticipation of Brexit, which is officially scheduled to occur at the end of March. UK Prime Minister Theresa May recently opened the way for a delay to this leaving date, subject to approval from parliament.

The UK manufacturing sector slowed in February, according to a recent survey.